- feeling sorrow or regret
- used to express polite regret
- used to introduce disappointing or bad news in a polite way
I'm not going to lie, I tend to place the blame on myself more often than not. I was recently in a situation with a friend where even though I knew in the back of my head I was no where in the wrong, I still placed the blame on my shoulders. I let it nag and eat at me, continuously asking myself what I had done wrong. Its a subconscious thing that a lot of us do; we blame ourselves, because we can remember every little mistake we made, regardless of how insignificant they are or if they are even remembered.
Translate this to everyday life, and you, too, will realize that you apologize way more than you mean to. But as I mentioned before, do not apologize where an apology isn't needed. My dad always told me never to use the same word too many times, for fear of it losing its power. You don't need to apologize and wave someone on when you both reach the line for coffee at the same time; say, "please, go ahead". You don't need to apologize for being sick and coughing; instead say, "excuse me." And finally, you don't need to say "sorry" for almost running into someone; offer the word "pardon" in its place. In my opinion, there is a difference between apologizing and being polite. You apologize for a conscious mistake you make, and I don't think anyone consciously plots to accidentally bump into someone when turning a corner.
I know I've mentioned my dear, dear Grandmother Eileen on here from time to time. Even at the age of 87, the woman still pops out a pearl of wisdom nearly every time I see her. Back when I was ten, I started saying, "My bad" all the time, because, you know, it was what the cool kids were saying. However, my Grandma said to me, "Stop saying that! You're not bad at all!" I had forgotten about this for years, until I came across the video I linked above. Needless to say, Grandma Eileen is a borderline oracle.
So, I offer the proposition to you: stop saying sorry. Now, I don't mean to completely erase the word from your vocabulary, but just become aware of when you use it. And most of all, don't apologize for being you. Speak up, your opinion is invaluable--I know mine is. Sorry, not sorry.