9 things you should never apologize for, according to psychologists

We all say “I’m sorry” more often than we probably should. This constant apology can not only diminish our confidence, but also leave us feeling powerless.

As Lachlan Brown, Hack Spirit founder, I’ve spent a lot of time exploring this topic. It turns out, psychologists agree that there are some things we just shouldn’t apologize for.

In this article, I’ll share nine things that you should never feel the need to apologize for, according to the professionals.

This isn’t about being rude or dismissive, but rather recognizing the value in our actions and standing by them.

Let’s dive in and discover how to stop saying sorry when it’s totally unnecessary.

1) Being yourself

Authenticity is a big deal in the realm of psychology. Often, we find ourselves apologizing for our personalities, interests, or choices that don’t conform to societal norms or expectations.

As I’ve learned through my work with Hack Spirit, and as psychologists widely agree, we should never have to apologize for being true to ourselves.

This might mean embracing your introverted nature in a world that often favors extroversion. Or it could mean standing by your unique interests and hobbies, even if they’re not “mainstream”.

Being authentic doesn’t equate to being rude or disrespectful – it’s about embracing your genuine self. Apologizing for who you are can undermine your self-esteem and hinder your personal growth.

Stop saying “I’m sorry” for being you. Instead, celebrate your individuality and never apologize for it. It’s an essential part of who you are.

2) Practicing your beliefs

As an expert in Buddhism and the founder of Hack Spirit, I’ve come to understand the importance of practicing one’s beliefs without apology.

Buddhism emphasizes the pursuit of personal spiritual development and inner peace. It encourages individuals to seek their own path, even if it goes against societal norms or expectations.

Psychologists echo this sentiment. They assert that our beliefs, whether religious, spiritual, or philosophical, form a significant part of our identity.

Apologizing for our beliefs implies a rejection of our values and can lead to a sense of guilt and conflict within us.

Whether you’re following the teachings of Buddha, adhering to another faith, or simply following a set of personal morals, you should never apologize for your beliefs.

Believe in your path and walk it without apology. After all, being true to your convictions is a fundamental aspect of self-respect and personal integrity.

3) Saying no

One lesson I’ve learned during my journey with Hack Spirit, and something psychologists continuously highlight, is the importance of setting boundaries. And a crucial part of setting boundaries is knowing when to say no.

Whether it’s declining an invitation, opting out of a project you don’t have time for, or refusing to engage in gossip, you should never have to apologize for saying no.

We often fear the word ‘no’ because we worry about disappointing others or being perceived as unhelpful. But the truth is, saying yes when we want to say no can lead to stress, resentment, and burnout.

Don’t apologize for protecting your time and energy. Remember, every ‘no’ is a ‘yes’ to something else that matters more to you.

4) Putting yourself first

As an expert in Buddhism and author of the book – Hidden Secrets of Buddhism: How To Live With Maximum Impact and Minimum Ego, I’ve delved deeply into the teachings of Buddha.

A key Buddhist principle is the importance of self-care and loving oneself. This is echoed by psychologists who emphasize the significance of prioritizing our own wellbeing.

Too often, we feel guilty for putting ourselves first. We apologize for taking time out for self-care or for pursuing our own dreams and ambitions. But, as I’ve outlined in my book, taking care of oneself is not just a right, but also a responsibility.

When we prioritize ourselves, we’re able to better serve others. We can’t pour from an empty cup, as the saying goes.

5) Not knowing everything

In a society that highly values knowledge and expertise, it might seem counterintuitive, but you should never apologize for not knowing everything.

Many of us feel embarrassed when we don’t have all the answers and we often apologize for it. But as a founder of Hack Spirit and an explorer of wisdom traditions, I’ve learned that embracing the unknown is a key part of personal growth.

Psychologists affirm this too. They suggest that admitting our limitations is a sign of self-awareness and intellectual humility – crucial traits for continuous learning and development.

When you’re faced with a question or situation you don’t have the answer to, don’t apologize. Instead, see it as an opportunity to learn something new or gain a fresh perspective. Because the truth is, none of us has all the answers, and that’s perfectly okay.

6) Expressing emotions

Buddhism teaches us about the importance of acknowledging and expressing our emotions. As an expert in Buddhism, I’ve spent a lot of time understanding this principle.

In our society, certain emotions, like anger or sadness, are often seen as negative. We may even feel compelled to apologize for expressing them. But psychologists agree that all emotions are essential and healthy components of the human experience.

Suppressing emotions can lead to increased stress, decreased mental wellbeing, and even physical health problems. It’s crucial to allow ourselves to experience our feelings fully and express them in appropriate ways.

7) Making mistakes

I’ve made my fair share of mistakes, and one thing I’ve learned from running Hack Spirit is that we should never apologize for messing up.

Psychologists actually encourage us to embrace our mistakes. Why? Because they are opportunities for growth and learning. When we make a mistake, it means we’re pushing boundaries and trying new things.

Perfection is not the goal – continual growth is.

8) Taking up space

This might seem a bit counterintuitive, but you should never apologize for taking up space, whether it’s physical, emotional, or conversational.

Many of us have been conditioned to make ourselves smaller, quieter, or less noticeable to avoid inconveniencing others. But psychologists argue that this can lead to a diminished sense of self-worth.

Remember, you have as much right to be here and express yourself as anyone else. So don’t apologize for your presence or for asserting your opinions and needs.

Being considerate of others doesn’t mean you should shrink yourself. So go ahead, take up space, and do so unapologetically.

9) Pursuing your passion

In Buddhism, we learn about the principle of right livelihood – this means choosing a profession that aligns with our values and contributes positively to the world. As an expert in Buddhism, I’ve always found this principle particularly inspiring.

Unfortunately, many of us feel compelled to apologize for pursuing our passions, especially when they deviate from societal expectations or norms. But psychologists agree that following our passions is critical for our happiness and wellbeing.

Your passion energizes you, gives you purpose, and contributes to your personal growth. And who knows? Your unique path might just inspire others to pursue their dreams as well.


There are many areas of life where we should stop uttering the words “I’m sorry”. From being ourselves to pursuing our passions, these are all essential aspects of our identity and making the most out of our lives.

It’s not about being unkind or dismissive. It’s about standing up for who you are, what you believe in, and how you choose to live your life.

For those interested in going deeper into this topic, my book – Hidden Secrets of Buddhism: How To Live With Maximum Impact and Minimum Ego can provide more insights.

It explores key Buddhist principles and how they can help us live more authentically and unapologetically.

So let’s stop apologizing for things that make us uniquely us. After all, living without unnecessary apologies is a liberating way to embrace our individuality and create a life that truly reflects who we are.

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Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the founder, and editor 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 15 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. Check out my latest book on the Hidden Secrets of Buddhism and How it Saved My Life. If you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Facebook or Twitter.

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