When Is Sorry Just A Word?

photo(197)How can you tell when Sorry Is Just a Word? Well it seems to me that Sorry is just a word when it’s not accompanied by actions that prove it. “I’m Sorry…” seems to be one of the most widely used expressions ever spoken; but it often rings hollow to the ears when it’s not supported with an emotional attachment to the meaning.

By definition – “I’m sorry” – is an exclamation expressing apology, used especially at the time of the misdemeanor, offense, etc. Unfortunately, it’s often said just to get the injured party not to be angry, sad, or upset, and once forgiven it’s like dust in the wind, if it’s not backed up by any solid efforts to not repeat the offensive behavior. It’s a statement of no substance, no value and no importance unless it’s supported with positive efforts not to repeat the hurtful behavior.

So what does that mean? Should a person never accept an apology? How can a person know if an apology is sincere? Is there any way to tell? Sadly, I think that would have to be based on how well you know the person, and how many times their previous apologies were proven to be sincere or insincere. Are there physical signs you can use to determine sincerity? Maybe yes… maybe no…! Tears and sadness for some are real and meaningful signs of remorse; for others who are often insincere they may just be very good acting and a means to the desired end – your forgiveness for their hurtful behavior.

In all probability, the one factor that is the most definitive “tell” or “way to tell” is if the same type of offenses are repeated over and over. Perhaps the most important related issue that matters is how many times you are willing to “forgive and forget” repetitive hurtful behavior by those who claim to care about you.

It’s not a cut and dry issue. We have been taught that “to err is human and to forgive is divine.” But there doesn’t seem to be any guidance as to how many times we should forgive and be divine before that becomes a nonsensical unrealistic statement; and when we should forgive and forget? Clearly it is a Matter of the Heart and like so like many matters of the heart you will have to look into your own mind and heart to make those determinations.

Kate Woods
I Aspire To Inspire

Follow me on Twitter @katewoodsonline.

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2 thoughts on “When Is Sorry Just A Word?”

  1. A sincere apology is often what it takes to fix a situation – we all make mistakes, and we should be allowed to do so, as long as we acknowledge them and try to learn from them.
    Unfortunately, this very important phrase can be abused and said just to achieve certain goals. I personally judge the actions around the “Sorry” to see if it was sincere.

    1. Since no one is perfect, mistakes are definitely a part of life. Because of the weight and power of the phrase “I’m sorry” it is sometimes abused and it can be difficult to determine if it was sincere. I believe “that actions speak louder than words” in most cases so if “sorry” is said but not followed up with actions that prove it was sincere – then it WAS just a word. Actions certainly help determine the sincerity of an apology. Wouldn’t it be nice if “I’m Sorry” was never used for manipulation and only used honestly?

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