Men may not notice it, but most women are aware they tend to say "I'm sorry" a lot. It's called a 'mindless sorry' which is the habit of apologizing for things that may not be your fault. On this International Women's Day, a St. Louis company is hoping to get women to break the habit of constantly apologizing.
The advertising agency New Honor Society, located downtown on Washington Ave. came up with the idea to hand out 30 "sorry jars" to businesses around the St. Louis area.
"The idea of a jar comes from the idea of a swear jar," said Holly Aguirre, New Honor Society President, "Then when you say something, bad or wrong, something you shouldn't say, you have to pay for it."
New Honor Society is also offering PDF print outs on their website, http://www.notsorry.com/, for anyone to print out and place on jars at any business or home.
New Honor Society advertisement agency is made up of more than 50% women. These women came together for this cause with the goal of change over profit. "How can we make a difference? Where is there opportunity for progress?" said Aguirre. They hope women in their office will put anything from a quarter to $1 in the jar to break the "mindless sorry" habit. "It becomes almost a reflex that you're not even aware that you're doing it," said Aguirre. All the money they raise will go towards the 3 Percent Movement, which is an effort towards increasing female creative leadership in the advertising and marketing industries.
"I guess it's just a habit," said Samyah Dorsey, a St. Louis native. "Sometimes we may apologize for things that we shouldn't be sorry about."
Some women credit their kindness to perpetual apologies, which they do not think is a bad thing. "We're not as harsh, so we probably are sorry," said Norma Jackson, a St. Louis native.
News 4 spoke with Washington University Professor Hillary Elfenbein, who teaches organizational behavior with a focus on emotion in the work place. She explains why women tend to apologize more often than men.
In order to preserve harmony, females offer “ritual apologies” to smooth over the normal ups and downs of life. They aren’t meant literally to be apologies for something someone has done, but rather these ritual/mindless apologies are a habit-driven expression of regret that something is threatening harmony. Of course, not every man or woman follows these norms, just as not every stereotype applies to everyone. - Hillary Elfenbein, Washington University
"Hopefully this lives on a continues to make change," said Aguirre.