It happens to everyone. You say or do something that offends or upsets another. You care about that other person, and you recognize why your actions or words caused them grief. You acknowledge it to them, and say you are sorry.
While knowing how to apologize is an important safety (and social) skill, it is not today’s topic.
Today I want to emphasize that your setting a boundary is not cause for an apology.
You should not have say sorry for treating your needs and peace of mind as priorities. You should not have to say sorry for taking your own safety and comfort into account. You should not have to say sorry for self-care.
You should not have to say sorry for taking up your personal space. You should not have to say sorry for having your own opinions, and voicing them. You should not have to say sorry for taking time for yourself.
But still, you may find yourself apologizing just to get by, just to get through the day. Because it seems you’re judged more harshly when you dare to assert yourself. And you still need to get along with others at work, or in some social settings. If that is the case, if you decide to make that tactical decision to use the “s” word, do it with no guilt. Because it’s your choice. Sometimes, in considering personal safety, you have a choice between being safe and being right. That is your determination. You may not want to fight every battle, so choose which are most important for you. Do remember, however, that this is the result of a specific power dynamic, a tug-of-war over who gets to define what is “acceptable” or “appropriate” or “normal.”
And remember that a truly crucial element of your personal safety is the choice you make to keep yourself safer.