How Often Do You Say “I’m Sorry?”
My husband sent me this interesting article from the Wall Street Journal about apologizing that made me chuckle because my teenage daughter often tells him what a hard time he has saying “I’m sorry” to her. The article describes new studies that found it’s particularly difficult for us to apologize to people we love. According to Canadian psychologists, people apologize about four times a week, but they offer up these apologies much more often to strangers (22% of the time) than to romantic partners (11%) or family members (7%). Friends get the most apologizes (46%).
Of course, when it really matters, it can be hard to admit you did something that you shouldn’t have. I’ve always marveled at how painful it’s been—tantrum-provoking, in fact—for both of my daughters to say “I’m sorry” in certain situations. The truth is that some husbands (and wives) probably apologize a lot and others don’t apologize enough. There was a great line in a recent episode of the TV show “Parenthood,” in which the experienced dad older brother advises his new-dad younger brother to apologize: “It’s just what men do. We apologize. I say three I’m sorrys before I get out of bed in the morning.”
Certainly, love doesn’t mean never having to say you’re sorry. I like to think that I’m more likely to accept blame and apologize than my husband is, but when we disagree and I’m convinced I’m right, it’s tough for me too. The recent research found that women do say “I’m sorry” more than men, but men are just as willing as women to apologize if they think they’ve done something wrong. Men may just have a different idea of what defines “something wrong.”
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