It's incredible the number of people who automatically apologise for things that they have in no part contributed to happening. For example, the other day I was in a shopping centre, and the product I desired was too high for me to reach; therefore I sought the assistance of a tall shop attendant. He too had trouble reaching it. It was no-one's fault - he just had to get a stepladder, though I must have apologised about three times.
I don't know for sure, but I think many people do the same. I'm not advocating not apologising for things that are within our control that we feel guilty about. It's more the kind of apologising which gives the impression we feel we don't deserve to take up space in the universe, or are being a nuisance.
The other habit I have is, when given a compliment, deflect it by saying "Oh, no I'm not," or going the other way, and actually insulting myself. Again, during my interactions with others, I have seen them engage in the same behaviour.
By not apologising for things that are beyond our control, and are even connected with us; we are taking the first step towards feeling we have to be sorry that we are even taking up space on the planet - a feeling of shame and being small. It's one of the first steps to a healthy self esteem.
Perhaps we are scared that by saying "Thank you" - we are going to be seen as conceited, which of course is considered a very undesirable and unlikeable trait.
However, one day I was told that my constant refusal to accept compliments was actually frustrating to the one who was giving the compliment. They suggested I just say "Thank you," and by doing so, it wasn't that I was necessarily agreeing with the compliment; I was thanking the person for being thoughtful enough to proffer it.
Which brings me to another point. We may be given a lot of compliments in our lifetime, but every now and then we might actually agree with it. Does this mean we are conceited? No. It is a healthy and necessary state that reflects an adequate level of self esteem.
A healthy self esteem doesn't mean that we think we're better than others. It means we have a sense, and an acceptance of our strengths, as well as our weaknesses.
This is so true. On another chocolate walking tour I ran yesterday, one of the establishments had the music blaring up loud - of which is unusual for them. No doubt, the guests could barely hear me in my presentation, as I could not even hear myself. Yet I had to do it in a time limit. The guests sat down and enjoyed their sample at the same locale, and my goodness - they may have had difficulties in hearing their conversations while enjoying their treat.
After we left this destination, I stopped for the moment - about a couple of floors down from where we were, and I apologised for the loud music. One of the guests said back to me "what are you apologising for, it wasn't your fault the music was loud."
On the other hand, I needed to apologise in acknowledgement that it may have been difficult for the guests to communicate with each other as a result.