"If there were an apology Olympics, women would beat the pants off men. According to recent research, including a study at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada, a clear-cut gender gap emerges when measuring just how often men and women apologize as well as the reasons behind it. While many women say 'sorry' as automatically as they say hello and goodbye, they also apologize for something as simple as bumping into someone's chair. Men, in contrast, see no reason to apologize for trivial transgressions like a chair bump."
I've been intrigued by this article by Merci Miglino ever since I first read it.
It is called "Apologizing -- Again?" and discusses how women are much more likely to apologize than men...and how apologizing can be dis-empowering and potentially part of the cycle of domestic violence.
Why domestic violence? Because of the idea that domestic violence victims apologize "for anything and everything." And of course that is not healthy.
But I want to point something else out.
Abusers apologize too. They say things like:
"I'm sorry...it won't happen again."
"I'm sorry...I didn't mean to hurt you."
"I'm sorry...if you didn't make me so crazy, it wouldn't have happened."
That isn't healthy either.
Personally, I think apologizing from a place of strength is a sign of....strength. Not weakness. My husband would tell you that while I might say "I'm sorry" for bumping someone in a store...it is REALLY hard for me to say "I'm sorry" when something is real. It is difficult for me to admit that I caused harm or hurt to him. I feel like the Fonz trying to say "I was wrong." After almost 19 years of marriage it is still hard to get the words out.
I am not sure how healthy it is to tell anyone - women or men - that it is in "our wiring" to apologize...and that somehow that is not ok.
I think it is better to teach our children (and ourselves) how to say "I was wrong" - and mean it.
What do you think?