You show empathy through apologies
Apologizing for something you can’t control may be illogical, but it can make you seem more trustworthy. Harvard researchers asked a young man to approach 65 strangers in a large train station on rainy days and ask to borrow a cell phone. Half the time, he started with the superfluous apology: “I’m so sorry about the rain!” before he asked, “Can I borrow your cell phone?” Only 9 per cent of people who did not hear the superfluous apology gave him the phone. In comparison, 47 per cent of those who received the superfluous apology did. Researchers say offering a superfluous apology portrays empathy and concern for the listener, which increase the listener’s trust in the speaker.