Sorry, Not Sorry
The faux-pology hashtag of our times may not be all that ironic: we don’t say it when we mean it and when we mean it, we f lub it. Let’s reclaim the apology
When “sorry” seems to be the hardest word
Our heartfelt regrets to the apology, that cornerstone of common decency. You had quite a run as two words that couldn’t be minced. Now you send nothing but mixed messages. You can be cryptic (see: Katy Perry tweeting that she might collaborate with Taylor Swift “if she says she’s sorry”... For something). You’re defiantly sarcastic (in her hit single “Sorry,” Beyoncé spends three minutes and 52 seconds saying anything but that). You hijack conversations so often that comedians write skits about you. Still, that scarlet S has lost its emotional currency. It’s come to mean nothing, when it should mean everything. “It’s not hard to apologise,” says prof Cynthia Frantz, a social psychologist who has studied the science of the S-word. “But it’s hard to apologise and mean it.” Our resistance to acknowledging we messed up runs deep. “Saying ‘sorry’ means we have to be vulnerable and admit we’re flawed,” says Marjorie Ingall, co-founder of SorryWatch.com, a website that analyses apologies in the news, history and culture. But done right, the word is mental dynamite, knocking down walls and saving relationships from the verge of ruin. Intrigued? Read on.