How would this interaction make you feel (see details)?
I accidentally cut in front of someone while leaving the grocery store today. The street was lined with trucks, so I couldn’t see very well. By the time I pulled out far enough to see, I basically just had to go to keep from getting in the way of oncoming traffic. The other driver didn’t have to slow down at all, and I didn’t have to speed out of the exit, but she was still annoyed. Predictably, I got the finger and a horn honk.
The lane splits into two lanes shortly after the place where I pulled out, and we ended up next to one another. We both had our windows down, so I took the opportunity to apologize. I told her that I hadn’t been able to see and had made a bad decision. She pointed out that someone had been waiting to pull in to the grocery store and that this should have tipped me off that someone was coming. I told her she was right and apologized again.
“Well, okay… no problem,” she said, but she still sounded annoyed. Do you think it actually helped at all to apologize, or did I accidentally prevent her from venting her anger by making it harder to be mad at me? Would you feel like something had gone right if someone apologized to you for making a mistake on the road, or would it just annoy you more?