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Betsy S. Stone, Ph.D.

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Boy holding paper sign in front of his face that says Sorry.

“Say you’re sorry you hit your brother.” 

“Say you’re sorry you lied.” 

“Say you’re sorry you spit [or yelled or stomped your foot or kicked me].”

We learn to say “I’m sorry” as young children – but sometimes, we’re taught to say it when we’re really not sorry. Our earliest apologies are often intended to make peace with another person, and they don’t really require that “I’m sorry” at all.  

As we age, though, these words take on more meaning for us, and they may reflect true regret about our behavior or its impact. 

As we approach Yom Kippur, we...

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