"Don't apologize, you're a smart girl." - Garrett Apologies are tricky. One may apologize for being genuinely sorry for doing the wrong thing, or another may apologize because they're sorry that they did something that was perceived as wrong even though they're intentions were not to do harm. I naturally do the former, but the latter is what I'm guilty of the most.
It's part of the Korean culture to succumb to elders and those in higher authorities but as you grow older. You apologize as a sign of respect but when is saying sorry too much, too much? I'm 24 now, still young but lived a fulfilling life thus far and there are still seniors above me or folks with titles that have more responsibility than I do, but I'm strongly learning the importance of holding my own. This means that everyday when I take actions I have to really think about it before I act. I have to go into it being confident in my choices. Once it is finished, I can walk away from it knowing what my goal was and being clear minded. This is a way of me putting myself in a position where I can better articulate the purpose behind my actions if someone did ask why I did what I did or do what I do.
It's not to say that I'll be disrespectful and say "SORRY, I'M NOT SORRY" though that's a joke that comes up every once in a while. There's a thin line. There are times it may be stepped on, but knowing my heart, my intentions are never to disrespect anyone.
This is my proclamation to myself and to the community around me that I will be even more confident about my choices and apologize only when it is appropriate, not when I feel uncomfortable or think it might be the right thing to say when I feel that it is not. My heart and mind must align when I say the word "sorry" because that word is heavy, and if it's something always left in the back of my tongue, I carry a burden and I'll have the urge to drop it everywhere I go. It'll not only lose it's value; there's just no need for that.
If I hurt you, I will apologize. At the end of the day, it is never my intention to hurt anyone and I could never go to sleep at night knowing that I did. If you don't like what I did because it is simply not of your taste, I will not apologize - but I will work to find a solution according to the ultimate goal of the task at hand.