When “Sorry” Becomes Just Another Word

 “Turn apologies into action.”

Back in my college days, I worked at a daycare center, herding the 2-3-year-old room. There was this little guy named David—picture your classic troublemaker but with the innocent face of an angel. David had a habit of grabbing toys from other kids and occasionally adding a smack for good measure. Every time he was caught, he’d flash those puppy dog eyes and say, “I sowwy.” It was cute—until it happened again the next day, and the day after.

At two years old, a child’s brain is more Play-Doh than encyclopedia. Neurologically, toddlers are at the stage of developing empathy and understanding the impact of their actions, but it’s a slow bake. Still, was David truly sorry, or had he just mastered the early art of crisis management?

Those two words, “I’m sorry,” carry weight. But when they’re recycled repeatedly without any real change, they start to sound more like a broken record than a heartfelt apology. It’s like promising to lose weight while inhaling a third slice of pizza; the intention might be genuine, but the execution is lacking.

Here’s where it becomes deeply personal for me. Recently, I found myself in a tangled web of miscommunication that reminds me of those early lessons in apologies—though much more intricate. In a moment of misunderstanding during a conversation, I said something that unintentionally hurt two very important people in my life. There were misunderstandings and a bit of communication chaos, but despite the confusion and the unintended nature of my words, the bottom line—I screwed up.

What do you do when you can’t reel the words back in? You can’t unsay hurtful things, but you can apologize—if you actually mean it. It’s not about scoring points for being right or wrong. It’s about recognizing that regardless of your intent, the impact was what it was. They felt hurt, and that’s the reality you’re dealing with.

Repeating “I’m sorry” without any follow-up action is like patching a leaking ship with Scotch tape—ineffective and temporary. Take action. Maybe it’s making a conscious effort to avoid repeating the same mistake, or perhaps it’s opening a dialogue to understand the depth of the hurt caused. It’s about making it clear that you’re not just paying lip service to peacekeeping.

Apologies have to be more than just words; they need to be the beginning of a blueprint for change. Think of it this way, every sincere apology is the start of a little contract with yourself and the person you’ve wronged, a contract that says, “I see what I did, I hate that I made you feel this way, and here’s how I’m going to do better.”

Remember, saying sorry is easy—living it is the hard part.

Remember, YOU GOT THIS!



Jasmine Rice is a Transformation & Confidence Coach, NLP Expert, Best-selling author, and Founder of Good Things Are Gonna Come, LLC. With a passion for empowering others, she has dedicate/d her career to helping people transform their thought patterns, and thrive during life’s complex transitions. Through her integrated coaching business and supportive community, she equips individuals with the tools they need to transform their lives and take control after periods of transition.

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