Sta Hungry Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

Sorry does not seem to be the hardest word anymore

A lot has changed since the 1976 hit song Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word by Elton John. Not for me, though. Saying sorry is still one of the hardest words for me. I keep telling people not to say sorry to me, unless they actually mean it. Saying sorry is just a habit for many people.

There are several reasons why I prefer minimising the word sorry:

  • The more you say sorry, the less that word means to you.
  • Saying sorry should be the exception and not the default response to anything that goes wrong.
  • Saying sorry should be about intentions and not about consequences. See quote below.

Moreover, there’s a very personal reason: I really don’t like making mistakes. I’m a bit of a perfectionist. Hence, acknowledging having made a mistake creates a feeling of failure, or even guilt and shame. I apply high standards to myself. It’s hard for me to “Make It Easy on Yourself” (eg, lyrics, video).

The flip side of this coin is as follows: if people have wronged me then I expect an apology and/but without asking for it. That seldom happens. Then, saying sorry is suddenly the hardest word. My solution is clear and simple: I ignore further interaction with such people, until they show signs of regret or remorse.

Saying sorry has become the new habit of politicians. Often, you feel that they are only sorry for being caught in the act and not for their actions – let alone for their intentions behind those actions. Their newest habit is saying that they are genuinely sorry. I wonder how and where this verbal inflation will end.

If (our) apologies become fake, what would be the eventual effect on society?

Most likely, we would lose respect for and trust in the ones apologizing. A similar phenomenon can be viewed with the people spreading fake news.

Last but certainly not least, one of my favourite quotes:

“True remorse is never just a regret over consequences; it is a regret over motive.”

A quote by Mignon McLaughlin (1913-1983), an American journalist and author

Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word (1976) by Elton John
artist, lyrics, video, Wiki-1, Wiki-2

[Chorus]
It’s sad, (so sad) so sad
It’s a sad, sad situation
And it’s getting more and more absurd
It’s sad, (so sad) so sad
Why can’t we talk it over?
Oh, it seems to me
That sorry seems to be the hardest word

Note: all markings (bold, italic, underlining) by LO unless stated otherwise.

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