In many public social and work situations women often use the phrase “I’m sorry” as a courtesy, much the way people use the phrase “Excuse me” or “Pardon me.” There is nothing problematic about this at all, in and of itself. However, there can be a negative impact on others no matter how casually the words “I’m sorry” are spoken. These words are often perceived as demonstrating weakness in the speaker.
In personal situations these same words can be magical, bringing people closer after an argument or bringing a sense of relief and calm. So what’s the deal with social and work environments?
Think about it for a moment. How often at work do you hear a man, whether employee, manager, or executive, say: ”I’m sorry”? There is a good chance it is very rare. How often do you hear a woman use the words? There’s an equally good chance that it happens more than once.