We Apologize More to Strangers Than Family, and Why Women Ask for Forgiveness More Than Men

I’d like to tell the man whose cab I stole in the rain last week that I’m very sorry. But to my mom, whose driving I criticized recently? Not so much.

Elizabeth Bernstein discusses the various ways men, women, strangers and family members apologize.

I’m in good company on this. According to new research from Canadian psychologists, people apologize about four times a week. But, on average, they offer up these apologies much more often to strangers (22% of the time) than to romantic partners (11%) or family members (7%). The only folks we apologize to more? Friends (46%).

Why is it so hard to say “I’m sorry” to someone we love? Ask Phil Peachey. He knew he was in trouble when he woke up one morning to find his wife banging utensils around the kitchen. What was wrong? “Nothing,” she said. He asked her again. She gave him the cold shoulder.

Read this article @ The Wall Street Journal

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