I think the phrase "excuse me" should be used in a practical way. There should be a truth evaluator in our heads that alerts us to disingenuous comments that we make and forces us to apologize.
As in "Excuse me, I was really trying to intimidate you even though I am no tougher than you."
Or "Excuse me, I was trying to prove that I am smarter than you even though I am not."
Or "Excuse me I was just trying to prove that my interests, my approach to life, my experiences and my knowledge are more valuable than yours when that is obviously not true."
The excuse me confession would eliminate a lot of guessing and tortured interpretation.