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Why does sorry seem to be the hardest word?

According to a recent article apologies matter to China. The focus of the article was on the Olympian swimmer Michael Phelps who addressed fans in China following photographs published of him smoking marijuana.

He never specifically apologizes apparently but the intent is clear, according to his spokespeople. Hmm.

Why do we not put a greater emphasis on the concept of an apology?

It’s all very well blithely uttering “I’m sorry” but the real focus should be on the feeling behind it. This is why I feel the “apology” issued at the Treasury Select Committee was hollow and was an order from their advisers who were sitting in the row behind them, masters of the puppet strings. Only by putting one of the chairmen (at a time) in a room with a family in financial ruin do we have any hope of seeing any real apology.

According to an article in the Times today: “men may know they're wrong about something but often loathe saying they're sorry…saying sorry makes them feel a bit pathetic. They see it as a weakness, not a strength”. I don’t agree. The strength lies in realising that a heartfelt apology separates the men from the banker boys.

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