1. When asking a question.
No one should ever apologize for asking a question or being confused in class. Often times, people (especially women) apologize when they are confused or don’t get something. This is the point of class and learning, so there’s no need to apologize!
2. When feeling like they may be overreacting/feeling in general.
To me, there is no correct way that someone “should” feel. I often find myself apologizing for venting or being upset because of people in my past leading me to think that my reaction was “wrong.” The way that someone feels is not someone else's to comment on, and there is no “correct” way to feel. Judging people's reactions can often make them feel worse. If people are truly good friends, there is no need to apologize to them for how you feel.
3. When mishearing.
Sometimes when mishearing someone, someone will say “Sorry, what?” No need to be sorry, just ask what they said! Anyone can mishear something.
4. When they’re #notsorry.
If you’re #sorrynotsorry, then you’re just #notsorry. Just own up to what you did or like, and there’s usually no need to feel guilty!
5. When liking something.
Similar to the above reason, people will apologize when they like something or have a guilty pleasure. For example, “Sorry, but I really like this song.” Don’t worry, It’s OK! You can listen to your song and then your friend's guilty pleasure song, too!
6. When changing their mind.
I often find myself ordering at a restaurant and then changing my mind and saying “oh sorry, can I actually have this?” Again, it’s OK to change your mind, it’s only human, and there’s no need to be sorry!
7. When someone is late.
I often run late, whether due to traffic or underestimating time. I rush in saying how sorry I am that I’m late. Traffic is totally out of my control. Underestimating time makes me learn for next time.
8. When actually doing something wrong.
This is the only time when someone should apologize. Everyone makes mistakes and that’s OK as long as they can own up to it and apologize. It doesn’t always make everything better, but it is often the right thing to do.
Often, we could replace “sorry” with “thank you.” For example, “Thank you for listening to me,” or “Thank you for waiting for me.” Instead of “Sorry I’m venting” or “Sorry I’m late.” Everyone should give themselves some credit and allow themselves to be human and ask questions without feeling guilty!