The power of Queen B!
On Wednesday, Lena Dunham published an essay on LinkedIn titled “Sorry, Not Sorry: My Apology Addiction” where she talks about her habit of over-apologizing.
The Girls star was inspired by Beyoncé‘s visual album Lemonade, specifically the song Sorry.
“It gave women a melody to which they could sing the words ‘Sorry, I ain’t sorry,’ again and again (and again). This refrain… allowed women to express (safely, while pretending with all their might to be Bey) just how sick to death they were of apologizing.”‘
The 30-year-old admits she is guilty of saying sorry way too much, especially during the beginning of her career.
“I am a woman who is sometimes right, sometimes wrong but somehow always sorry. And this has never been more clear to me than in the six years since I became a boss. It’s hard for many of us to own our power, but as a 24-year-old woman… I felt an acute and dangerous mix of total confidence and the worst imposter syndrome imaginable. I had men more than twice my age for whom I was the final word on the set of ‘Girls,’ and I had to express my needs and desires clearly to a slew of lawyers, agents and writers. And while my commitment to my work overrode almost any performance anxiety I had, it didn’t override my hardwired instinct to apologize.”‘
However, her father challenged her to remove the s-word from her vocabulary.
“It was actually my father who gave me the challenge: ‘What would happen if you spent this week NOT apologizing?’… The next day I tried to accept his challenge. But what do you replace sorry with? Well for starters, you can replace it with an actual expression of your needs and desires. And it turns out when you express what you want (without a canned and insincere apology) everyone benefits. Your employees know what you want from them and can do their jobs with clarity and pride. The dynamic remains healthy and open.”‘
But if you actually did something wrong to someone else, Miz Dunham says you still need to own up to your sh*t.
“Mind you, I am not negating the power of a real apology, especially in the workplace. One of the most important things a person in charge can do is own their mistakes and apologize sincerely and specifically, in a way that shows their colleagues they have learned and they will do better.”
Preach the truth, girl!
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