5. It is not appropriate to ask for forgiveness. The person to whom you are apologizing may not forgive you, now or ever. That choice is theirs and if you think that forgiveness follows apology the way "you're welcome" follows "thank you" then you're missing the point. Pressuring someone for forgiveness or closure or whatever you think you want to get can negate even the most sincere apology.
6. You don't apologize because forgiveness. You apologize because it is the start of righting a wrong that has been committed. Whether you believe in G-d, sin, morality, or enlightened self-interest does not matter. If you are sincere in understanding you have done something wrong than you may sincerely realize that you apologize for yourself, because it helps you become a better person.
-- I hope that by reminding myself of these things at least once a year I will become a better person. I hope that next year I will have less to apologize for.
May you all be inscribed in the book of life for a happy, healthy, and prosperous year to come.