I’m sorry! Let me be perfectly honest with you. I don’t accept “I’m sorry” as an apology. Jaded much? The reality of those words to me is that it simply isn’t genuine. You ever have someone do something that was extremely foul and they say that they are sorry but there is no emotion behind the words? They force their words upon you yet have no remorse. It’s more of a here take this only because it’s probably the right thing to do type of apology. It’s usually wrapped in a “I’m sorry that you…” as if you were the one who did something wrong.
I think of I’m sorry in this way: is the apology to benefit you or someone else? If the answer is not the latter than uttering those words makes your apology empty and worthless. I had a boyfriend who would apologize for doing the same thing over and over. For me, changed behavior and true self-reflection was always more meaningful. For him, his repetitively negative behavior followed with a routine apology was acceptable.
Please do not misunderstand me. I do think that apologies are needed. If you mess up, allow yourself to be human. Be in the moment, be free of excuses and blame. Be cautious of your tone. Make eye contact. Take responsibility. Learn from the situation and be understanding or know that those apologies are falling on deaf ears.