“I’m sorry.”

I hear it a lot from my kids. I never hear it in the news or from people who truly have something to apologise for.

But what are they saying sorry for? Is it that they are really apologetic for getting something wrong, for upsetting someone, for doing the wrong thing, or for not doing the right thing. Or are they apologetic for being caught? Are they sorry for not being able to get away with ‘it’ or are they sorry you caught them?

When does an apology actually mean what it should? Are you/they asking for forgiveness or just acknowledging they did wrong (but are not actually sorry for it)? How are you supposed to know the difference? By apologising, does the apology mean they are taking responsibility for the wrong (and any subsequent action or injury), or just taking responsibility for the need to say something?

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