Why should someone say sorry so much? It's a scared impulse for me. I get the impression that 'sorry' is a way to absolve yourself from blame for either what you have done or what you are about to do, even if the repercussions are minor at most. To steal a page from a favorite book of mine, Stuff White People Like, I have some scenarios as to when I would say sorry:
- When I have a hapless accident, like spilling a glass for milk on the carpet or messing up an effort at work. I exclaim "Sorry!"
- When I think I'm burdening someone with problems that should be kept to myself. The word will come off rather defeatist in this case.
- When someone else gives me a problem of theirs, and I say the typical "Sorry to hear that." Usually no one says "don't apologize" after this version.
- When there's bad news about to break, I use sorry before, but usually I wait on the apology until immediately afterward.
- When I do something shameless, I say it in jest. Sorry for the shameless Amazon plug.
The common factor here may relate to the desire of the Aspie to stay in good graces with the company around him. We often envelope ourselves into character roles. No exceptions with me, as I like my character roles also. Only if I feel that I am content to play villain do I really avoid saying sorry. Otherwise, I would not have any problems with that. Apologies go into this sympathetic character and drive everyone to love him, not necessarily unconditionally, but they have a gratitude for what he does. I don't really dwell on the character aspect much at all, but I do analyze it a lot more than I care to go into on this blog.
Back on the apology, it isn't as much about the conscious character I'm playing as much as an honest attempt for me to connect with the person I am talking to through a form of sympathy. I end up overusing it, and people shake their heads. However, what is good to me is that now people realize that I mean well, and I get the appreciation that I desired. So in the end it seems like a win when there is an apology. Nothing to be sorry about there.