I Apologise, I’m British

The post about being British over at The Universe and Me inspired me to think of situations in which us Brits apologise for something which is entirely not our fault.


1. When someone bumps into you and YOU say sorry

2. When you are waiting with someone for someone else and you apologise for their lateness

3. When you are sorry you that you don’t have a watch on

4. When you are really sorry that you don’t know the direction to some place someone wants to go

5. When you apologise to a cab driver for not knowing the directions of where YOU want to go

6. When you are sorry that something has happened to someone that had nothing to do with you


There are many more, I’m sure, that I cannot think of at the moment. Wish to add anything?

8 Responses to I Apologise, I’m British

  1. When someone is rude to me and the only way for me to reply sounds really confrontational so I apologise and say, “I hope you don’t think I’m being confrontational but…. etc etc” even though they are the ones who started it by being aggressive first! Or “Sorry, I must have misheard you,” when what I mean is, “I didn’t mishear you, you said it wrong to start with.”

    • I do that too – I like to think of it as giving people another chance to fix whatever douchy thing they’ve just done.

      • Yes. That’s exactly what it is! If I’m polite and none aggressive, I’m hoping they’ll go, “O no, it’s ok. It was my fault. Sorry about that.” And then I’ll be like, “Yeh, I know it’s your fault, you idiot, thanks for apologising.” Although I wouldn’t say that last bit, I’d just think it!

  2. swalia says:

    I guess it’s more to with being over-sensitive

  3. I thought this was a Canadian thing! We say sorry when people accidentally step on our toes. And all the reasons you listed above. What are you supposed to say?

  4. tinkadele says:

    Thanks for the mention. I do find the British nuances to be quite funny! Being over apologetic is something I’m guilty of, having manners is one thing but when it’s someone else’s fault and you apologise FOR them, I sometimes kick myself afterwards… Similar to the ones you posted:

    -Apologising when someone else makes a mistake, eg. overcharged on an item in a store, I apologise for the inconvenience of their mistake!
    -Apologising when someone is unwell, “sorry you got sick”… yeah it’s not nice but I didn’t get them into the situation!
    -Apologising when someone else and I go to walk through the same door.

    Like you said, there are SO many but to think on the spot is pretty difficult as it’s just a natural reaction to say sorry at the time!

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