If so, you're probably a woman. Norah Vincent, author of Self-Made Man : One Woman's Journey into Manhood and Back, was interviewed on "The Colbert Report" last week, and one of her comments really struck home. Colbert asked her whether she had discovered any difference in the way men and women speak. Yes, she said, women apologize all the time: "I'm sorry I'm here. I'm sorry for existing." For example, when ordering at a restaurant, a woman will say, "I'm sorry, but would it be possible for me to have...?" Whereas a man will just sit back and say, "I'll have the steak."
A woman I work with is constantly apologizing. One day I got fed up and said, "You have to stop apologizing so much!" Her response: "I'm sorry!" (We both laughed, but she actually meant it.) Another woman we work with is a big apologizer too. They could cut their meeting time in half if they'd cut out "I'm sorry." Whenever I hear them speaking to each other, I'm always tempted to count who apologizes more.
Not that I'm much better. I constantly catch myself apologizing needlessly. I'm sorry, but I was brought up that way. My mother is sorry too. Is yours? Are you?