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Ansible1's avatar

Does it bother you when people apologize too much?

Asked by Ansible1 (4824points) August 11th, 2009

I used to work with this girl who would say ‘i’m sorry’ __all__ the time. I accidently bumped into her once and made her drop what she was carrying and she still said ‘oh i’m sorry’ Do you know someone like this?

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23 Answers

teh_kvlt_liberal's avatar

I say, people these days don’t apologize enough!

Supacase's avatar

Yes. My best friend in HS did it and it drove my mom crazy. In some ways it reduces the sincerity of a true apology from them when they really need to apologize. Still, being somewhat guilty of this myself, I know that it is an insecurity issue. I don’t want to inconvenience anyone and feel guilty when I do. Maybe some people just don’t want anyone to be upset with them or not like them.

marinelife's avatar

I do. I totally hate it. Because when a person does that, they don’t really mean that they are sorry. The words have become a meaningless appeasement.

AstroChuck's avatar

Yeah, I suppose. A bit.


CMaz's avatar

Yes, it shows weakness.
There times when you need to, but some people cant stop saying it.

TitsMcGhee's avatar

I apologize mostly too much when I’m at work or when I know someone is upset or angry or overly sensitive for some reason. I find that I’ll say it if I have no other proper response as well (ie, when someone says “I’m just having a completely awful day,” I sometimes can’t think of any response but “I’m sorry,” even though I’m perfectly aware that it isn’t my fault. I try to replace it will “Pardon” or “My fault” or some other variation so it isn’t just “sorry, sorry, sorry” all the time.

OpryLeigh's avatar

I’m sure I do know people who do this but I can’t say I notice it so no, it obviously doesn’t bother me. Sounds, to me, like a nervous thing similar to nervous laughs that some people have. Now nervous laughs, they bother me!

lefteh's avatar

One of my best friends does it. Drive me batshit insane.

Quagmire's avatar

I don’t know anyone like that, I’m sorry to say.

Quagmire's avatar

Please! Accept my apology.

Quagmire's avatar

I should meet someone like that, I know. I’m sorry.

galileogirl's avatar

In the example you gave the I’m sorry isn’t a real apology, it is social shorthand for ‘I didn’t mean ’ whatever. In this case that the unwanted contact occurred. You do understand that today there are people who will attack you verbally or physically for this kind of situation, whether it is brushing an arm in passing or cutting another driver off. An automatic ‘I’m sorry’ can mean ‘No problem’.

I find I say ‘I’m sorry’ when someone says something I didn’t hear. There are physical cues that go along with it but basically means ‘I didn’t get that, please repeat’ not that I have done something wrong,

Then you have the ‘I’m sorry’ that really means the opposite. We hear this a lot from politicians and other public people. They will say or do something stupid and say ‘I’m sorry if you were offended’ implying that it is not their stupidity but our hyper-sensitivity that is at fault

We need the social shorthand phrases to keep the wheels of human interaction greased. How would you like it if common courtesy required a full and heartfelt apology with an explanation and promise to be more careful in the future? Or if there was never a recognition of a faux pas?

galileogirl's avatar

@Ansible1 If my answer dtdn’t address your concern, I’m sorry

DominicX's avatar


I find I also say “sorry” when I didn’t hear something someone said, although I will usually accompany it with the word “what”, which distinguishes it from the other usages of the word.


I only say “I’m sorry” if I’m apologizing for something and I mean it. If I don’t mean it, I’m not going to say it. My boyfriend is kind of the like the person in your example, he apologizes way too much. It’s not that he’s doing it on purpose, I do think that he does mean it, but there are just certain things that he doesn’t need to apologize for. He’ll apologize even though it’s not his fault or something like that. I think it’s kind of cute myself and it doesn’t bother me, it seems more like it’s a side-effect of his extreme kindness. Besides, it’s not like I don’t remind him that he doesn’t need to apologize for things that he doesn’t need to apologize for. :P

Ansible1's avatar

@galileogirl I asked a question with such an obvious answer, I’m sorry.

irocktheworld's avatar

OMG i know!! A long time ago my best friend (ex now) was ALWAYS apologizing lke 100 times and I ended our friendship because things weren’t really working out and we always had problems and it just sucked! But now she’s out of my life and life is good! :)

HappyFox's avatar

I used to know someone that said ‘sorry’ so often that it lost all the meaning and intent. He would apologise for the most minor things that you wouldn’t even consider thinking about, i.e. dropping coins into someone’s hand from 5cm would cause an apology, etc.

One night in the pub, someone finally snapped and went crazy at him…this shocked him to the point where he stopped doing it…although did actually apologise for apologising…

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

It bothers me because when “I’m sorry” is overused, you can’t help but question the sincerity.

YARNLADY's avatar

I thought is was just another form of “like, ya know” or “Ohhh, mannnnn”

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

It is annoying, yes, but one has to realize that this must mean the person might have self-esteem issues and try to help them

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

Yes, it used to be me. I agree with @The_Compassionate_Heretic and @YARNLADY, there are better ways to learn to express yourself so other people aren’t made to feel awkward.

aprilsimnel's avatar

It’s something that more women do than men, and I think a lot of it is that women are expected to be more accommodating and acquiescent. It’s a bad habit that somehow girls pick up and carry with them and it’s got to stop.

galileogirl's avatar

@YARNLADY Exactly! Sometimes an automatic response is just that and not about sincerity or self esteem or women being acquiescent, like, you know?

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