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Why women apologize more than men do in most social settings, whether personal, or professional, is the question!
‘Thank you’ and ‘Sorry’ are some of the most used words – be it in the work space or personal. And why shouldn’t they be? After all the two most taught words are taken as a measure for politeness and manners instilled by your parents in you. Right?
Last time I bumped into someone – I said sorry!
My “Sorry!” to a waiter who repeatedly forgot to fetch me water for the second time. I was “Sorry” for not being able to help a friend since I was really busy and stuck at that point. I served up some slightly burnt food and I was really “Sorry” to my family for ruining their taste buds! Hands Up! I am guilty of saying “I’m sorry” way more than I really want to admit.
But when it comes to analyzing on the gender quotient front, I wonder – do we women say “Sorry!” more often than men? It is our peremptory crutch to wade in and win over all the parameters of being an ideal ‘lady’?
Contemplating on this thought, I came across a Harvard University research by Alison Brooks and her team which sets one thing straight – offering apologies where they is not needed, makes us more likeable to others for no reason.
So, do we women say sorry to appear more pleasing to others? Is it our conformation to the psychologically instilled norms of being appeasing and gentle to others as women? Do we women apologize often so that others will appreciate our politeness and good manners?
We have said sorry when we have wanted to pass and others have blocked our path. We have said sorry for smelling not so nice during our periods. We have been sorry over our bra-cup sizes, over not liking children, over making more money than our men, over eating too much. We have been taught to be sorry for being Fat, Ugly, Black, ‘Boyish’, ‘Unladylike‘ women.We have been made to feel sorry for saying “No” to sex when our man has proposed or when we have not been able to conform to those norms being a good cook, girlfriend, wife, mother, daughter, daughter in law or driver.
But are men really so thoughtful at their end and equally apologetic on these same instances? NO.
Why does the threshold on what we say sorry about differ for men and women? Why is it unmanly to be sorry while lady-like to to be one? Do we teach our daughter to say sorry more often than we do this to our son?
And while I feel apologetic for writing such a long post, or perhaps pondering pointlessly on something so obvious or futile, I request my readers’ permission to end this post and listen to “Sorry is a sorry word” by Tarrus Riley to feel slightly… umm…you know…related.
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