Have you noticed how often women say “I’m sorry?”  There are lots of studies that prove they do and multiple opinions as to why women do it. My sister Chris and I noticed we apologize so much, we turned it into a routine:  “Sorry.  I’m sorry for everything.  I’m sorry I exist.”

Inside Amy Schumer’s sketch about the common tendency of women to apologize frequently and unnecessarily is funny—sort of—but mostly uncomfortable to watch because it rings so true.  I tried to find a working link for the three-minute video for you but I couldn’t download one (sorry). You can read a description of the sketch here.

One positive explanation for why women apologize so much is that we are more sensitive to what offensive behavior, though that doesn’t explain why we apologize for the inoffensive.  For many women, “sorry” is as common a verbal tic as “you know.”  Just listen to conversations around you or—better yet—pay attention to how many times a day you apologize.  It will happen more often than you imagine.

A necessary, heartfelt apology is a very good thing, though some consider them signs of weakness.  In researching the subject, I found articles advising women not to apologize at work because it will diminish their authority.  One article quoted Bill Clinton, apparently a master of the art of apologizing without saying “I’m sorry.”   Yes, it is inappropriate and even sad to overdo apologies.  But those who make it a point never to apologize?  I feel sorry for them.

*Photo by Junior Mascari via Unsplash



About Alexis

Alexis Rankin Popik, author of Kiss Me Over the Garden Gate, is an award-winning short story writer whose work has appeared in The Berkshire Review and Potpourri Magazine. She has penned numerous articles about local history that have been published in Connecticut Explored and the University of Connecticut School of Law and The Hartford Seminary publications. A former union organizer, Popik traveled the country educating shipyard workers about health and safety and founded a labor-management health plan before turning to writing fiction full-time. She lives with her husband in New England.
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