How often do you say you’re sorry?
If you’re like many women — and me — you probably say it a lot. In fact, it may even preface many of the simple and everyday questions you ask.
“I’m sorry, but is this seat taken?”
“I’m sorry to bother you, but do you know what time it is?”
These types of innocuous questions don’t need to be prefaced with “I’m sorry.” Yet many of us still do it. I think it’s something I started doing when I was a kid and now it’s just a habit. Maybe it’s part of my Midwestern upbringing?
You won’t hear most men using the words “I’m sorry” in the same types of situations. Most men will apologize if they feel badly about something or know they owe someone an apology. But they would be much more likely to rephrase the above questions in the following manner: “Is this seat taken?” Or “Do you know what time it is?” Men tend to look at apologies as a sign of weakness, which makes them less likely to offer one when it’s not needed.
That information, in case you’re wondering, is in a story about women and apologies in our May/June issue of HealthyLife magazine, of which I am editor. I did not make it up!
And in the meantime, I’m sorry, but I’m going to try to apologize less.