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The Difference Between “Sorry” and Trust

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Sometimes a person can be mystified as to why their friend, family member, loved one, or coworker says that they still don’t trust them even after an “I’m sorry” has been made after a hurt. ┬áThe misunderstanding on the part of the offender is due to the false assumption that “sorry” ought to result in restored trust.

The truth is that a genuine apology can certainly result in forgiveness but forgiveness does not mean trust. A wounded person not only felt the pain of the incident they also felt the pain of a betrayed trust. So a person can offer forgiveness but that does not mean that they automatically should trust themselves to the care of the offender without seeing a change in behavior. In fact, in some situations it could be physically or emotionally harmful to the person to automatically trust the other person again without seeing a consistent change in behavior over time.

We must remember that “sorry equals forgiveness” but “changed behavior equals trust.”


If you would like help working through areas of forgiveness and trust, please contact CornerStone Family Services at 614-459-3003 to talk with a counselor or coach.