To err is human; everyone makes mistakes.  A sincere apology from the heart goes a long way in making things right.  Saying 'sorry' alone does not fix everything.  The word has lost its impact because of overuse and inappropriate use.  It has become the norm to rant and rave and be impolite, and say at the end of the tirade, "I am sorry if I sounded rude."  This is insincerity masquerading as an apology.  The offender seems to be asking for forgiveness, but is not really asking for it.  He is not taking the responsibility for his rude behavior.  He is in fact saying, "I wasn't rude, but if you think so, then you are wrong, and let me say I'm sorry, which I'm not." 
At times the apology is accompanied by some reason, but unfortunately, the wrong reason.  "I'm sorry I got angry at you, but I had a bad day at work.  My boss drove me crazy from morning till evening."  Is this an apology?  No; it's a justification.  A real apology would go something like this, "I'm sorry I spoke harshly to you.  I took out my frustration on you, which is not fair.  You don't deserve this." 
Many people say 'sorry' and in so doing insult the person they are apologizing to.  For instance, "I am sorry you misunderstood me," really means, "You are so stupid that you are not capable of understanding my words."  "I am sorry you got offended," is like saying, "You are too sensitive; get over it."   "I am sorry you feel this way," really means, "There is something wrong with you; you shouldn't be feeling this way."
To apologize sincerely, you need to regret your behavior, take responsibility, and show willingness to do better.  If you have screamed at someone for an hour, a one-second 'sorry' or a 1.5 second 'I apologize' is not sufficient.
We should not shy away from apologizing sincerely.


Didi Ji