How many times a day do you say sorry – once, less than 10, more than 20? Brits are famous (or should that be notorious?) for apologising, especially when they haven’t done anything wrong.

It mostly stems from a desire to be polite, consideration for others and to take responsibility for mistakes or unintended hurts. And there’s nothing wrong with that. But there’s a downside, especially when it’s used to avoid awkward situations and it affects your confidence to assert your thoughts and opinions or even to wear the clothes you prefer or eat the food you like.

Try not to be tempted to follow this route. When you know you aren’t doing – and haven’t done – anything wrong, stand firm. Politely assert who you are and what you’re proud to be. And you can be different, now and in your future. That might mean others think you’re geeky because you’re into coding or a bit of an OAP because you love growing plants, but who cares! Do your thing.

Girls code; girls garden; and girls giggle – a lot – which is great as it releases feel-good emotions and develops friendship bonds. Perhaps everyone should be apologising less and laughing more.

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