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

Women's Health (South Africa) - - CONTENTS - By Michelle Ruiz

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 Sor­, 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.

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