Just Why DO Women Say 'I'm Sorry' All the Time?

RedTracker| Imagine this scene: you’re a woman walking on the sidewalks of Manhattan, on the right side. In front of you, a man (or woman on occasion) comes barreling towards you, head-on. This person is walking on the wrong side, by conventional American standards of walking and driving on the right.

As a master of the universe, or just some gangsta guy, he expects that you will yield your position. He’s right. At the last minute — facing a headon, human body collision — you get out of his way. And in the process of doing so, you say “I’m sorry”.

You have engaged in totally predictable behavior, according to today’s WSJ article University of Waterloo Study Discusses Why Women Apologize More Than Men. For starters, do women actually apologize that much more than men, or do we just say “I’m sorry” for some complex, psychological, autopilot cultural reason, even when we’re not wrong and there’s no wrong in play.

Most sociologists agree that women take offence much more easily than men. New evidence suggests that men do apologize as readily as women — but they apologize less often because they don’t believe the situation involves a transgression. When a man agrees he’s done something wrong, he apologizes as readily as a woman.

In this sorry state of affairs, some women — like Anne — are trying to consciously stop saying the words. Even with an enlightened woman like her, the words continue to pop out of her mouth, because she’s trying to keep everybody happy all the time.