A world of apologisers

When two people mistakenly bump into each other, each one of them is both the jostler and the jostled. Given that both peopler are simultaneously perpetrators and victims, it is interesting to see how they respond.

In some cases, this minor incident can escalate into a screaming match, with both persons yelling at the other. The incident leaves both people feeling worse.

Alternatively, one person could jump at the other, accusing them of carelessness and cowing them into an apology. Here, the aggressor feels powerful while the apologiser is left feeling worse.

The incident could also result in both people apologizing to each other and exchanging a smile before proceeding. The incident actually leaves both of them feeling a little better than before.

With most conflicts, the parties involved are both victims and perpetrators. We are better off in a world where we give others the benefit of doubt, even if we ought to err on the side of being apologetic.

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