#344- The Meaninglessness of “I’m Sorry”
When people give lip service to “I’m sorry,” it loses its meaning. Simply saying the words won’t get you out of trouble, or excuse what you have done. For it to mean something, it needs to come with ownership and self-responsibility. The same holds true when you seek an apology from someone else. If you fixate on this need and put a lot of weight on it, you may end up with empty words. You can’t force a meaningful apology out of someone, so if you’re trying to do this, ask yourself why.
This happens a lot with breakups. If you’re devastated over the end of your relationship, you may want your ex to acknowledge your pain and say they are sorry for what they’ve done to you. You believe this will give you a sense of closure, but you’re putting an awful lot of importance on words that may be empty, which won’t make you feel any better. Sorry is meaningless without self-responsibility and you can’t force someone to own the wrong you feel they’ve done. Instead, look for where you can take responsibility. When you own your role, you become less dependent on empty apologies.
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