Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Why Do Women Apologize?

I have several major projects I should be working on, so of course... I'm blogging.

I'm in corporate strategy which reminds me of something that has bugged me for awhile, as I am presented with a "shining" example every week sometime between 10:10 and 11:50 am Mondays and Wednesdays.

I have an apologizer in my class. She raises her hand and inevitably, for whatever reason, manages to apologize to the professor sometime during the first sentence out of her mouth. She is an incredibly intelligent woman and every time she does this I want to throw something at her because I can no longer follow her point after the unnecessary apologizing. I can be guilty of this crime as well. Where did society go wrong? 9 times out of 10 I have nothing to apologize for. Yet somehow as soon as a critique comes out of a professor's mouth I occassionally feel the "word vomit" coming up and I blurt out "Sorry!" Is it estrogen? Is it society?

I do know that my male classmates never feel the need to apologize, even when they should. And particularly not after making a point in class.


MaybeMBA said...

Hmmm. Yes, I've wondered about this myself. It's so reflexive for though I manage to keep it in check. I think it goes along with my crippling need that everyone like me.

Pranay Manocha said...

Haha, funny. Luckily I didn't have an apologizer in my class, although there were many other who felt compelled to do other things. I for one, was always compelled to ask a question - it almost embarrassed me that few other people did when I had so many in my head!

Vlinder said...

I know that I “apologize” and thank people a lot. But according me, saying something like “sorry to contradict you but…” doesn’t count as a real apology. It is just a polite and friendly way to debate ideas. I come from Europe and I understand that there is also a cultural aspect to the question. Personally I often feel almost aggressed by the typical north-American “directness”. My European mind still thinks that it is better to be too polite rather than not enough.

PS: “sorry” for my English as it is not my mother tongue ;)

al said...


If you feel your English isn't good enough then why use it?

I am totally obsessed with trying to figure out why my girlfriend says sorry for EVERYTHING! It is driving me crazy at this point.

She apologizes for getting ready to go out, she apologizes for forgetting to turn out the light before we leave our apartment, she apologizes for apologizing. It is rediculous.

I don't know why she apologizes so much. Is it a female thing?

To me, if I take to long (which come on I'm a guy for Christ sake) to get ready to go out I make a mental note for the next time, no sorry necessary. If I forget to turn out the light well then guess what? I go and turn off the light, no sorry necessary.

My girlfriend says its just something she does and she'll try to work on it. But, for now it's like walking around on egg shells. She makes me feel bad because she apologizes so much, I feel like I'm projecting anger towards her but I know (I think) that's not the case.

Let's keep this debate going...I need some convo here.


Marion said...

AJM, How many languages do you speak?
Just curious...