I’m a woman, which means I’ve been groomed from birth to believe that my two primary functions in society are (1) to please others and (2) to be pleasing to others. So it’s basically a miracle that every work email I send is not a helter-skelter concatenation of apologies, exclamation points, lols, and smiley faces.
As I age, though, I’m trying harder and harder not to apologize just for (1) existing and (2) completing the functions outlined in my job description. But it’s hard to overwrite years of psychological conditioning. So now I’m at a point where I review each message carefully before I send it, and I usually end up editing out (and then re-adding, and then cutting again, and then sometimes compromising on) about five apologies a week. Based on my hourly rate, I would estimate that my company pays me nearly $200 every week to carefully consider my usage of the phrase “I’m sorry” via email.