"We should stop apologizing to each other."
I laughed when a colleague said that yesterday. We were probably a half dozen apologies into a conversation in which we were cutting each other off or not hearing correctly. It would have been really awkward if we weren't already friends with rapport. We agreed to stop apologizing... and then proceeded to say "I'm sorry" at least two more times, mostly out of habit.
It takes work and intentionality to break out of any kind of habit including what we say in conversations. If you have a habit of ignoring small talk or not preparing for small talk, here's your chance to change that. This list of sports conversation starters gives you topics that will spark conversation, built rapport and help you make connections.