I, however, choose to differ.
It is only to those who are special to us that we say it to. For it is by saying it that we convey just how special the other person is and how much it matters to us that he/she must not be upset. If it weren’t so, we simply wouldn’t bother apologising. At least, I won’t.
A simple word, sorry, said in the right way (the most important part) goes a long way in cementing strained relations.
Most people use it as an extremely convenient escape route. There is nothing inherently wrong in it. What is wrong, however, is how they see it (and hence, say it)-
Err. Say sorry. Escape. Wow. Things have never been this easier.
Unfortunately for them, it isn’t so. The word loses its essence unless it is meant and more importantly, said in the right way. While nothing is more pissing off than a “sorry” that isn’t meant, it spoils your case further if said in a rush or without the suitable extra sentences required (for those who didn’t get it, I mean stuff like “I didn’t mean to”, “I will never do it again” etc. Although the receiver knows just how mechanical these ‘added frills’ are, it does help your case. Trust me on this).
It is inevitable that this discussion reminds me of an old friend. This guy has an absolute knack for saying sorry. He can say it so convincingly and with such finesse that it leaves you wondering why you were angry in the first place? And I respect him for this. Manipulative it may seem, but I still think ‘the art of saying sorry effectively’ is a very useful one and does come in very handy.