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Common Ways Women Undermine Their Words

“I’m sorry, Mom. These muffins are really messy,” said my 3-year-old daughter a few mornings ago. It was clear she wasn’t apologizing for making a mess. She was really saying, “I hate to tell you this, but these muffins you made crumble really easily.” My daughter probably could write the book on giving straightforward feedback. Just a couple of weeks ago she told my friend she was driving too fast. She doesn’t hesitate to comment on my housekeeping. Recently, however, there has been a new addition to most of her (usually painfully accurate) critiques: The words “I’m sorry.” My husband was really surprised when she started doing it. He thought she was truly apologizing to him, as if he were some scary guy that needed tip-toeing around. I don’t think it’s an apology…it’s an observation about language. She is mimicking what
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