I see my girlfriends doing it too. Why are we apologizing so much?! I loved reading this paper that just came out (thank you for sending, Lizzie!) that provides some evidence and explanation for this “sorry” gender imbalance.
Here is what they found:
- Women apologize more often than men, but importantly, women report committing more offenses than men
- Men rate offenses as less severe (and less often deserving of an apology)
- Once men and women identified a behavior as offensive, they were equally likely to apologize (it’s just that men see fewer things as offensive)
The bottom line:
Women have a lower threshold for what constitutes offensive behavior
I want to work on cutting down on my “Sorry’s.”
- Count my apologies. How many times do I actually apologize in a day? Yesterday I counted 4 before 10am… that seems like too much (especially since none of them really deserved an apology).
- Categorize my apologies. This will help me understand what I’m actually apologizing for all day long. Every time I say “sorry,” label it in one of these categories (as described in the article)
- Relational (e.g., insulting someone)
- Failed obligation (e.g., failing to complete chores)
- Inconvenience (e.g., calling a wrong number)
- Physical or material (e.g., bumping into someone, damaging someone’s belongings)