I have a great friend that I will call S. (Namely because her name starts with S!;) She never apologizes. Wait, that isn't entirely true. She apologizes when she's at fault for something. If she spills your drink she will say "I'm sorry." If you are at lunch together and they mess up your order she will say something like "oh no. That stinks." Or "here, I will share mine with you." I love this about her. She doesn't apologize in that situation because it's clearly not her fault. She did nothing wrong.
I am the opposite. I apologize for EVERYTHING. Not because I think everything is my fault- if the waiter brought her the wrong lunch I would say "I'm so sorry. Here have some of mine." Same meaning but the words are entirely different. You can be sorry that something happened to someone without taking the blame for it. I know nobody thinks it's my fault when a burger comes out and you ordered a BLT. I get that. But why do I lean toward taking blame when something clearly is out of my control? This probably isn't my biggest flaw- but I'm under a microscope these days y'all.
My boys have started apologizing for things they didn't do. BIG can be playing and if his brother falls down near him he says "I'm sorry!"- implying guilt. He did nothing wrong. Or when LITTLE trips and says "I sowwy." Again, he did nothing wrong. No need to apologize.
But they learned it from me. I'm not teaching them a. The appropriate meaning of "I'm sorry." Or b. The appropriate time to say I'm sorry. So while it breaks my heart when one of my cubs falls- "I'm sorry" really isn't the right thing to say. (Although I am sad that happened!) Especially when I'm trying to teach them language, sympathy, and empathy.
I want their "I'm sorry" to be sincere. I want it to be used when they are at fault. I want them to know how to properly use the phrase. So I am sorry that I haven't been a better example for them when it comes to apologizing. I'm working on it. Today I haven't said it once. That is huge for me.
What do you think? Are you an over-apologizer?