How easy is it for you to admit you're wrong? A study from PsychTests.com indicated that an unwillingness to say "sorry" is not just a matter of pride. It can be a sign of a lack of kindness and open-mindedness, underdeveloped emotional intelligence, subpar self-esteem, and even dishonesty.
MONTREAL, Sept. 29, 2022 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ -- History is filled with really lousy apologies. A well-known chef accused of unsavory conduct sent fans a half-hearted apology and a recipe for cinnamon rolls. An actor turned writer stole plotlines, and then when it became public, also plagiarized an apology. But what can be said of people who simply refuse to apologize at all, sincerely or not? A study by PsychTests.com looks into the personality, attitude, and behavior of people who stubbornly withhold their "mea culpa" even when they know they've done something wrong.
Analyzing data collected from 12,259 people who took the Emotional Intelligence Test, PsychTests' researchers compared people who are willing to apologize after committing a transgression ("Apologizers") and those who are not ("Defiers").
Here's what the results revealed:
DEFIERS ARE MORE LIKELY TO CROSS PERSONAL AND SOCIAL BOUNDARIES
- 27% of Defiers don't bother to consider the ethical consequences of their decisions (vs. 4% of Apologizers).
- 25% think it's a good idea to tell a depressed person to "toughen up" (vs. 11% of Apologizers).
- 22% said they would rather be feared than loved (vs. 5% of Apologizers).
- 16% said that they rarely, if ever, stick to their principles (vs. 6% of Apologizers).
- 12% believe it is acceptable to tell a homeless person to get a job (vs. 3% of Apologizers).
- 11% think it's okay to offer unsolicited weight loss advice to an obese stranger (vs. 2% of Apologizers).
DEFIERS ARE WILLING TO COMMIT ACTS OF KINDNESS, BUT LESS SO THAN APOLOGIZERS
- When looking at acts of kindness committed within the last few months, here's how the two groups compared:
- 69% of Defiers have given a pedestrian or another driver the right of way (compared to 97% of Apologizers).
- 42% donated their time or money to charity (compared to 67% of Apologizers).
- 74% held the door open for someone (compared to 95% of Apologizers).
- 40% gave a homeless person food or money (compared to 52% of Apologizers).
- Yet, Defiers' kindness might sometimes come with catch, as 31% indicated that they want to be praised when they do something nice, compared to 17% of Apologizers.
DEFIERS TEND TO HAVE A MORE CYNICAL VIEW OF MORALITY AND PEOPLE
- 20% think that cheating and lying are only wrong if a person gets caught (vs. 3% of Apologizers).
- 34% are fine with using insincere flattery in order to get what they want from someone (vs. 22% of Apologizers).
- 28% feel that dishonesty is necessary in order to get ahead in life (vs. 16% of Apologizers).
- 29% believe that if an ignorant or naïve person is taken advantage of, it's their own fault (vs. 12% of Apologizers).
DEFIERS ARE MORE LIKELY TO HAVE LOWER EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE THAN APOLOGIZERS
- The Defier group's average EQ score was 17 points lower than Apologizers' score. Moreover, Defiers scored lower than the general population average by 11 points. They were also outscored by Apologizers on Self-esteem (10 points) and on Flexibility & Open-mindedness (23 points).
PSYCHTESTS' STUDY ALSO INDICATED THAT:
- 40% of Defiers are uncomfortable in emotionally charged situations (vs. 31% of Apologizers).
- 34% find it hard to express their feelings (vs. 26% of Apologizers).
- 28% insult themselves when they fail or make a mistake (vs. 19% of Apologizers).
"An unwillingness to apologize says a lot about a person's character," explains Dr. Ilona Jerabek, president of PsychTests. "A large part of it is pride; it burns us to have to give the other person the satisfaction of being right because we believe it will make us lose face and look foolish. However, the pattern we are seeing in our study is that it's more than just a matter of ego. People who refuse to say sorry are not only less kind to their fellow human beings, they also seem to unapologetically commit faux pas that would make most people cringe. They scoff at the idea of a moral code by defying their own principles, and some of the Defiers actually scorn the victims of transgressions rather than the transgressors themselves. So, this sense of defiance and spite appears to run deep."
"The question remains, what compels these people to withhold apologies? Well, based on our study, emotional and social intelligence, or a lack thereof, appear to play a major role. People with high EQ are empathetic, compassionate, and both socially and self-aware, which means they are able to put themselves in other people's shoes and understand how their actions hurt others. Defiers certainly possess the capacity for empathy, but fail to expand their awareness to the consequences of their lack of remorse. This means that unrepentant people look at apologizing from the perspective of 'If I say sorry, how will it make me look?' rather than trying to understand how it would benefit the other person or the relationship."
HERE ARE SOME TIPS ON HOW TO OFFER A GENUINE APOLOGY, INSTEAD OF A HALF-HEARTED "OK…SORRY" OR "I'M SORRY, BUT…":
- Say "I am sorry for…" or "I apologize for" and state exactly what the transgression was.
- Acknowledge that you were wrong and use empathy to recognize how your transgression affected the other person.
- Express remorse and own your mistake.
- Make amends.
- Commit to taking steps in order to prevent something similar from happening again.
- Let it go.
Professional users, such as HR managers, coaches, and therapists, can request a free demo for this or other assessments from ARCH Profile's extensive battery: http://hrtests.archprofile.com/testdrive_gen_1
To learn more about psychological testing, download this free eBook: http://hrtests.archprofile.com/personality-tests-in-hr
About PsychTests AIM Inc.
PsychTests AIM Inc. originally appeared on the internet scene in 1996. Since its inception, it has become a pre-eminent provider of psychological assessment products and services to human resource personnel, therapists and coaches, academics, researchers and a host of other professionals around the world. PsychTests AIM Inc. staff is comprised of a dedicated team of psychologists, test developers, researchers, statisticians, writers, and artificial intelligence experts (see ARCHProfile.com).
Ilona Jerabek, Ph.D, PsychTests AIM Inc., 5147453189, [email protected]
SOURCE PsychTests AIM Inc.