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On women & apologizing…

Normally I write about things related to food, health, and wellness.  I’m taking a moment to talk about gender in this post because in the past few weeks, I have noticed what seems like a ridiculously large number of women apologizing to me for the strangest of things.sorry

Here’s one example of what I mean. In the past week, I was in a new retail shop, browsing the dresses.  In the process of browsing, at least 4 to 5 women inadvertently bumped into me, such as our elbows or bags collided.  Because I noticed the apologies happened so many times all in a row, I started wondering about it.  What was the purpose of their apologies?  After all, it seemed to me that the aisle was way too small and it was certainly too full. Dresses were falling off the rack. Why would these women take any personal responsibility for that? It honestly felt a little bit to me as though my 1/2 of the human species didn’t want to take up any space in the world or didn’t feel the right to be there occupying space!

I did a quick Google search about gender differences in apologies and here’s a summary of the results:

When researchers analyzed gender differences in apologies in 66 people over a 12-day period, they confirmed women consistently apologized more times than men did. They also found that women thought certain acts were 3 times more offensive than men did, and that was why they apologized. Women apologize more because they feel bad about doing anything they consider offensive. When both men and women feel like they have done something wrong, they will apologize equally.  Men just have a “higher threshold” for bad behavior and are less likely to see something they have done as offensive.

Why would we think bumping into each other is bad?  Do we expect so little personal space to be ours?

There’s a woman at my bank who apologizes to me over and over again through the course of a very brief transaction. I have to say, this annoys me, as it makes me think that SHE thinks she’s unworthy in some way.  As a woman in business, I’d much rather be respected than liked and have become consciously aware of how many times I apologize and why.

Women have just as much right to breathe the same air. I think we do ourselves a big disservice by apologizing too much. What do you think? Sign in and leave me a comment.

 

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