You bump into someone. “Sorry.” Your phone goes off when it shouldn’t. “Sorry.” You interrupt someone. “Sorry.”
These are minor offenses. "Sorry" is fine.
And then there are times for An Apology:
~ You shared news that was given to you in confidence.
~ You withheld vital information.
~ You broke an agreement.
These are more serious offenses. They call for walking over, knocking on the door, and saying, “I owe you an apology.”
Only the coldest of hearts can reject a sincere apology. You will most likely be met with forgiveness – even tears and hugs.
I have never regretted making an apology. It has always gone well.
In my communication classes, I recomend that people start their day with two questions:
1. To whom do I owe a thank-you note?
2. To whom do I owe an apology?