Touch-and-Go: Apologizing After Accidental Bumps

Touch-and-Go: Apologizing After Accidental Bumps

Question: How do you apologize if you accidentally touch someone in an inappropriate place? I was on a bus and sleeping most of the ride. I sort of stretched my legs when I woke up and my knees brushed against something soft. I looked up and it was a girl's butt! She turned around for a hot second and then turned back around before I could say anything. I didn't want her to think it was intentional, but it was too awkward to say anything. 

Answer: Close proximity to complete strangers is one of the many joys of public transportation. Luckily for the clumsy among us, we're not likely to see the victims of our accidental manhandling a second time.

Don't worry. It sounds like she summed the situation up all on her own. She felt your knee, turned around to see what it was, beheld you in wake-up manspreading mode, realized it was an accident and then turned back around.

While it's nice to apologize when you've accidentally bumped someone,  you needn't force it on someone who's not offended in the first place. Getting her attention after she turned away would only have made an awkward situation more awkward.  

So how would you know if you had actually caused offense?

Well, if a woman believes she's been touched inappropriately, she's likely to give you an agitated look and/or move away from you. If that happens, quickly hold your hands up and mouth "Sorry!" with a "my bad" look on your face. 

That's all you can do. That, and get off at the next stop.

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