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How Significant Is The Word ‘sorry’? - Romance - Nairaland

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How Significant Is The Word ‘sorry’? by femmefatale: 4:04am On Apr 01, 2015
People always say I am cynical every time I maintain
that the word sorry is not as powerful as we tend to
make it out to be. I have been called unforgiving,
hard, difficult and many other such names. Call me
what you may, but it is my sincere belief that while
the word sorry is relevant, applicable and powerful in
many situations, it is not a one-drug-cures-all for
every time a person does something wrong.
I find that most people tend to hide behind that word
to shelve responsibility for their actions and
inactions. People think that whatever they do, if they
just say sorry, it makes it all good again. They use
the word sorry as a means of manipulating the injured
party and turning responsibility for the situation over
to them. Well, newsflash! It does not work that way.
Saying sorry is well and good when you say it and
mean it. If a person is truly sorry about the wrong that
they have done to another, they will at the very least
wish to assume responsibility for any damages their
actions might have caused. Being truly sorry means
you want to take away at least some of the pain and
loss that you have caused. You want to make things
good again for the offended party if you can.
Instead people want to say sorry and go back to their
own lives as if nothing ever happened. Such a
response does not take the other person’s loss into
account. They forget that another person’s life might
have been affected negatively, possibly irrevocably by
what they have done.
People must not always pay for their actions. Neither
do I disregard the biblical injunction to forgive those
who offend against us. But being sorry for an offence
against another person should sometimes come with
a share of the responsibility for the damage caused.
The word ‘sorry’, uttered casually is not usually equal
to the loss incurred by the injured party.
A Genuine Expression Of Remorse And Regret
When a person is genuinely remorseful about
something they have done or not done that has
caused hurt to someone else, then saying sorry is an
apt way to express that remorse. This is more so if
the person could not have known before hand that his
actions or inactions would have resulted in the
outcomes that ensued.
Actions taken in good faith that caused damage and
loss to others are covered by this. In such situations,
you find the offender offering some form of restitution
without being prompted. He is genuinely sorry and he
has a desire to alleviate any suffering he might have
caused in any way that he can. While this is not about
the restitution, the genuineness of his remorse is
obvious not only in his words, but by his actions.
When Sorry Doesn’t Wash
1. Repeat Offences
When a person keeps doing the same thing to hurt
another person over and over and he keeps
apologizing, it is obvious that he is not genuinely
sorry for his actions. Genuine remorse comes with the
desire to not only remove the hurt from your actions
but also not to cause further damage. Not matter how
much you apologize, hurting a person again and
again in the same way shows great disregard for their
Your repeated actions also show impunity. You say
you are sorry with your words but your actions tell a
story of their own. And what they are really saying is,
‘I really don’t care. I can always do what I want and
later, say sorry.’
It also shows a great degree of selfishness. You are
actually more interested in fulfilling your desires at
the expense of the other person. You know your
actions will cause hurt, but you still do them. There is
no point then to saying you are sorry because you are
2. Expecting Automatic Forgiveness
When a person offers an apology and automatically
expects the other person to accept it, he is not truly
sorry; he is just looking to assuage his own feelings
of guilt. That is when you hear things like, ‘I said I’m
sorry, why are you still acting this way?’ ‘I’ve been
begging you now for weeks, why are you still angry?’
Genuine remorse recognizes the pain that the
offended party is going through and should be willing
to make allowances for that person to process their
We all deal with anger and hurt in different ways;
don’t expect anybody else to deal with theirs the way
you would yours. You chose your actions; you cannot
take away their right to choose their reaction. Do not
expect automatic forgiveness or even forgiveness at
your own pace and timing. Respect their right to
choose forgiveness (or not) at their own pace.
3. Actions With Obvious Outcomes
If you knew beforehand that your actions could result
in hurt to another and yet you choose that path,
saying sorry cannot excuse your actions. For
example, a man who cheats on his wife made a
choice to cheat. He cannot honestly claim it was a
mistake because cheating involves considerable
forethought and many opportunities to desist.
Again, it is reasonable to assume that he would have
expected his wife will be hurt by his actions. Can he
now genuinely say he is sorry he cheated? Truth is,
he is mostly not sorry for his actions; he is more
sorry that he got caught.
4. Freedom From Responsibility
Sometimes, people offer apologies just to be free from
the responsibility of what they have done. If for
example I bash a friend’s car while it is on loan to
me, genuine remorse would demand that I at least
offer to pay some of the repair costs. It is most likely
he would refuse such an offer, but in making it, I am
letting him know I understand that my actions have
resulted in some loss to him and I am willing to take
some of the responsibility for that loss.
But you find that most people would apologize and for
them that is the end of it. It probably never occurred
to them that their friend might not be financially able
to fix the car or might have to take money off some
other project to fix it since it was an unplanned
Others would get real mad in the unlikely event that
their friend actually takes them up on the offer to pay
for the car repairs. This shows that they were never
genuinely sorry. Their apology was to shift
responsibility for the damage to the car (their action)
to another person. A quick question here would be:
suppose it was your car you bashed, would you say
sorry to the mechanic and get him to fix it for sorry?
Though we do not have to pay for every time we do
something wrong, but we can take responsibility for
the times that we can.

Re: How Significant Is The Word ‘sorry’? by justmag(m): 5:45am On Apr 01, 2015
People are only true sorry with action not words.
Re: How Significant Is The Word ‘sorry’? by Nobody: 5:59am On Apr 01, 2015
#1 : this post is too long

# 2 : I don't think anyone believes that the word sorry rectifies every situation, ever. And everyone knows that some people apologize and don't mean it. Actually I think everyone has apologized without meaning it at some point in their lives. Just think back to your childhood... lol

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