10 things you should never apologize for (if you want to stay true to yourself)

Ever say “sorry” for something that’s just, well, you being you?

You’re not alone.

But here’s the deal: saying “sorry” too much can make you forget who you really are.

So, let’s go through the 10 things you should never apologize for if you want to be true to yourself.

1. Your Feelings

Happy, sad, mad, confused—whatever you’re feeling is okay.

Your emotions are your own, and you shouldn’t have to say “sorry” for how you feel.

Ever heard the saying, “Feelings are not facts”?

Well, even if they’re not facts, they are your reality at that moment.

Let’s say you’re upset because your friend bailed on plans last minute.

You have every right to feel let down.

Sure, life happens, and maybe your friend had a good reason.

But that doesn’t mean you should apologize for feeling hurt.

Bottom line?

Feelings are a part of being human. Don’t say “sorry” for that!

2. Saying No

Look, I get it. We’ve all been in that awkward spot where we feel like we “should” say yes, even when everything inside us is screaming “noooo!”

Maybe it’s a co-worker asking for yet another favor when you’re already swamped, or a friend inviting you to a party when you’re just not up for it.

Been there, done that!

I used to be a serial “yes-sayer,” always worried I’d disappoint someone if I said no.

Guess what happened?

I ended up feeling stressed and resentful.

It took me a while to realize that saying no is not just okay—it’s essential for my well-being.

The truth is, saying no is about setting boundaries.

And boundaries are a big deal when it comes to respecting yourself.

So, the next time you want to say no, say it loud and proud. No apologies needed!

3. Your Past Mistakes

We all mess up. I mean, who among us hasn’t made a decision that makes us cringe every time we think about it?

I know I have. And you know what? It’s okay.

Your past mistakes are not your life sentence; they’re just lessons in disguise.

I used to beat myself up for every wrong turn, every bad choice.

I’d apologize to people, sure, but the hardest part was forgiving myself.

It felt like I was stuck in a never-ending loop of regret.

But then it hit me: How can I grow if I’m always looking back, saying “sorry” for things I can’t change?

Mistakes are part of the journey. They’re how you learn what you want, who you are, and most importantly, what you stand for.

So, stop saying you’re sorry for the stuff you’ve messed up in the past.

Own it, learn from it, and move on.

You’re not the same person you were yesterday, and that’s something to be proud of, not sorry for.

4. Being “Too Much” or “Not Enough”

Now, this one might surprise you.

We often hear people say “Be yourself,” but then get hit with “Whoa, you’re too intense” or “Hmm, you’re kind of quiet, aren’t you?”

It’s like the world wants you to be yourself but only if you fit into a neat little box. Makes no sense, right?

You should never apologize for being “too much” of this or “not enough” of that.

The truth is, whoever you are is the perfect amount of you.

If people think you’re “too much,” maybe it’s because they’re not enough for you.

And if they think you’re “not enough,” well, they’re missing out on the amazing person you are.

I used to worry I was “too much” because I’m passionate about a lot of things and I love talking about them.

Guess what?

The people who matter don’t mind, and the people who mind don’t matter.

So go ahead, be “too loud,” “too quiet,” “too excited,” or “too chill.” Your “too much” or “not enough” is just right for the people who truly get you. No apologies necessary.

5. Following Your Own Path, Not the One Others Expect

When I decided not to follow the “traditional” path that everyone around me expected, oh boy, did I hear about it.

“Why are you doing that? That’s not a real job! What about stability?”

Sound familiar?

We often get bombarded with questions and doubts when we dare to walk our own path.

So here’s the deal: Life is too short to live someone else’s dream. Seriously.

If you’ve found something that lights you up inside, something that feels like your calling, then go for it.

Don’t apologize for choosing a path that doesn’t make sense to others. It’s not their journey; it’s yours.

When I took the road less traveled, sure, it was scary. But it was also the most liberating thing I’ve ever done.

And you know what? The people who truly care about you will come around.

They’ll see your passion, your happiness, and they’ll start to get it.

Don’t ever feel like you have to say “sorry” for making your own choices and following your own North Star.

You owe it to yourself to live your life your way.

6. Putting Yourself First

Putting yourself first is often seen as selfish.

But let me tell you, that’s a load of nonsense.

If you don’t take care of yourself, how are you supposed to take care of anyone or anything else?

I used to be that person always bending over backward for everyone.

I thought saying “yes” to others meant saying “yes” to happiness. Big mistake. I ended up burned out, drained, and feeling like a shell of myself.

Guess what? It’s not selfish to say, “I need a break” or “I can’t do that right now.”

It’s not selfish to prioritize your well-being. It’s necessary. And anyone who makes you feel guilty for doing so is missing the point.

So no more apologizing for taking time for you, whether that’s a day off, a solo trip, or just a few quiet moments with a book.

Remember, you can’t pour from an empty cup. Fill yours up first, and don’t say “sorry” for it.

7. Your Success

Now, you might be thinking, “Why would I apologize for succeeding?”

But you’d be surprised how often people downplay their achievements to avoid making others feel uncomfortable.

Maybe you got a big promotion, started a successful business, or even just nailed a workout goal you’ve been chasing for months.

Whatever it is, your success is something to be celebrated, not hidden away.

Don’t let the fear of outshining others make you dim your own light.

Seriously, if your shine makes someone squint, then they can put on sunglasses!

You worked hard for your accomplishments. Own them, celebrate them, and never feel like you have to say “sorry” for being awesome.

After all, your success could inspire someone else to chase their own dreams.

8. Not Knowing the Answer

We live in a world where everyone seems to have an opinion on everything.

Not knowing something can feel like a cardinal sin, but here’s the counterintuitive truth: You don’t have to know it all, and you definitely don’t have to apologize for it.

That’s right. Saying “I don’t know” can actually be a powerful thing. It opens the door to learning, to curiosity, and to genuine connection with others.

Plus, let’s be real—nobody likes a know-it-all.

I remember a time when someone asked me about a topic I knew zilch about.

The old me would’ve tried to bluff my way through it.

But instead, I just said, “I don’t know, but I’d love to learn.”

Not only did I get a great conversation out of it, but I also gained respect for being honest.

So the next time you find yourself in the “I don’t know” zone, embrace it. Don’t apologize.

Being a work-in-progress is so much better than pretending to be a finished masterpiece.

9. Your Quirks and Unique Traits

Do you have a quirk, a hobby, or even just a way of doing things that people find odd or different?

Maybe you collect vintage teacups, or you love to belt out show tunes in the shower. Heck, maybe you just laugh a little louder than everyone else in the room.

I used to apologize for my love of reading all kinds of random facts.

Yeah, I’m the guy who spouts trivia at parties. Some people found it weird, and I used to say “sorry” for it.

But one day, I stopped apologizing and embraced my quirk as something that makes me, well, me.

The truth is, those little quirks make you memorable. They make you unique. They’re the flavors in the recipe that is you.

So why would you ever apologize for that?

Life’s too short to be a watered-down version of yourself.

Own your quirks. Celebrate them. And never, ever say you’re sorry for being uniquely you.

10. Standing Up For What You Believe In

Last but definitely not least, never apologize for standing up for what you believe in.

Whether it’s a cause close to your heart, your political views, or even just a personal preference, if it matters to you, then it’s worth standing up for.

We live in a world where people are quick to argue or shoot down opinions that differ from theirs. It can be intimidating to stand your ground.

But remember, your beliefs and values are a part of who you are. Compromising on them is compromising on yourself.

So go ahead, speak your mind. Advocate for what you believe in. Some people might not like it, but that’s their problem, not yours.

You can be respectful without apologizing for your convictions.

After all, if you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.

Did you like my article? Like me on Facebook to see more articles like this in your feed.

Picture of Lachlan Brown

Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the editor of Ideapod and founder of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 6 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. If you to want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Twitter or Facebook.

Enhance your experience of Ideapod and join Tribe, our community of free thinkers and seekers.

Related articles

Most read articles

Get our articles

Ideapod news, articles, and resources, sent straight to your inbox every month.