I didn't realize that the habit of starting sentences with, "Sorry, but could you..." actually made me present my own needs as weaknesses. It was probably clear to the other person, but the reason it wasn't clear to me was because the word "sorry" had subconsciously made me feel as if I was constantly bothering other people.
Trying to avoid the inevitable pain, messiness, and unpredictability that comes with life only serves to prevent learning. Indeed, suffering is the result of trying to avoid life. Life cannot be avoided because you are life and no matter how much you try to perform, perfect, please, or prove, you cannot escape yourself.