NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Is it possible that women tend to overuse the word “sorry?”
The latest celebrity to weigh in on this apology addiction is Lena Dunham.
As CBS2’s Jill Nicolini reported, the actress recently did her own week-long experiment to try to rid herself of her excessive apology habit.
Dunham wrote an online essay in which she credits one of Beyonce’s new songs called “Sorry I Ain’t Sorry” off the Lemonade album for allowing females to rid themselves of this urge to say, “I’m sorry.”
“Women definitely say ‘I’m sorry’ more often than men,” said psychiatrist Dr. Gail Saltz. “They blurt it out without thinking they are saying anything in particular. It’s almost like hi!”
Dr. Saltz said biologically women tend to be more empathetic and worry about stepping on somebody else’s toes.
“Women are also biologically more likely to suffer depression and anxiety which comes with guilt and guilt makes you feel like saying you’re sorry,” Dr. Saltz said.
Emma Damar wondered if this was because they are worried about being too assertive.
“Some women feel they can’t stand up for themselves and they have problems being assertive. They apologize for having an opinion,” she said.
“Culturally women are socialized to be saying they are sorry, to be the more passive, or not to appear too aggressive,” Dr. Saltz explained.
Dunham banned herself from saying the phrase for a week and it inspired her to expand her vocabulary.
“Make a note of it and then move on to, ‘was it really for something that you were actually sorry for?” Dr. Saltz said. “And say, what else can I say in this situation where I am feeling a little more comfortable. Choose another word.”
Dr. Saltz said it’s really important for moms to help their daughters choose the right words so they don’t become too passive as well.
It’s OK to say that you’re sorry when you really are sorry about something, Saltz said. This is what most men actually do, but say it only when necessary.