1. "I'm sorry, but could I just bring up another point about this topic?"
Meetings—in theory, at least—are usually about exchanging ideas. Apologizing before you share your two cents just undermines what you're about to say. (This goes double for: "Sorry, this is a stupid question.")

2. "Oh, I'm sorry.... Sophie, give your uncle a hug and kiss goodbye!"
If kids don't feel comfortable hugging or kissing an aunt, uncle, neighbor or family friend, they need to hear from their parents that that feeling is okay. Instead, suggest a high five or even a polite, "Bye, Uncle Bob, it was nice to see you!"

3. "Sorry I ordered a burger and fries when you all got salads."
See also: "Sorry I'm taking the last doughnut." Or "Sorry that I love this show!" Somehow, apologizing for an indulgence—eating something delicious, or watching a show that only you find funny—takes away from its awesomeness. Which is just wrong.

4. "I'm sorry, you can't sit next to me/buy me a drink/give me your number."
We know you know this, but it bears repeating: Today, more than ever, women should never apologize for saying no.

5. "I'm sorry, I just need some time alone."
No one's going to blame you for wanting some space.

6. Any "I'm sorry" that's followed by "but."
Because you're probably not sorry. And that's fine.

7. "Sorry I'm the third wheel."
If they invited you, they want you there.

8. "I'm sorry, you're sitting on my coat."
There's a way to unapologetically tell a stranger they're infringing on your space without being rude yourself. Explain what's happening—"Oh, I noticed you're sitting on my coat!" and smile as you say it.

9. "I'm sorry, I'll just watch instead."
Whether it's karaoke, bowling or surf lessons or another activity, feeling bad that you're not giving in to peer pressure is something that needs to stay in high school. They're going to need someone to take pictures, after all.

10. "I'm sorry, I can't because..."
Someone's asked you to do something—walk their dog, join a committee, take a Zumba class—and for whatever reason, you can't do it. Instead of giving excuses (too busy? too tired? too anti-Zumba?), keep it simple and sorry-free. "Thanks so much for thinking of me, but I can't."

11. "I'm sorry I'm apologizing so much!"
If you're self-aware enough to notice it, then you can stop doing it.


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