1. Debbie Gibson

    I responded to this post by saying “excellent”. Your blog thing came back and said my comment was too short. Sorry! ?

  2. Amanda

    This topic is an interesting one because it’s so tied to shame, in many cases. Interestingly, shame in children is necessary for increased learning of right and wrong…BUT, it has to be followed by repairs. So, if they experience internal feelings of shame, sorry is often the easy verbal response. Girls are so much more emotionally verbal than boys, so the logical conclusion is that we see it more in girls (as you noted). The verbal experience is ultimately viewed as weakness (versus in boys who internalize shame and avert eyes, escape, etc) which is, again, played out by our cultures tendency to view women in a weaker sense. Ultimately, the issue with saying sorry is a cultural one, in my opinion.

    Living in Japan, the culture intentionally avoids “no”. Gomensai (sorry) is thrown about with ease. It’s about politeness; therefore, community and service. It is not abused by others, in my observation. I think that is the key cultural component…in the US culture the superfluous use of sorry can easily be abused due to our individualistic society (and provided connotation in many circles).

    Great topic!

    • Carolyn

      It is absolutely cultural! You bring up interesting points, especially the cultural differences between the US and Japan. I’m trying to think if there was something in Azerbaijan that people would say or do that would connect to this idea. I didn’t learn the word for ‘sorry’ for a long time, and I remember thinking I needed to know it for the reasons I’m trying to teach my kids to avoid.
      So, really, we need to help our children understand when the shame they feel is real, and when it’s not, right?

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