Have more empty, meaningless words ever been spoken? When was the last time someone said “I’m sorry” to you, and you actually believed it?
Remember when you were a kid and you got in a fight with your sister or brother or cousin or classmate? No matter the argument or what had transpired, part of the punishment was always for both parties to say they were sorry. And yes, it was a form of punishment – because you were NOT sorry. I wasn’t sorry when my mama made me apologize to my sister for bopping her over the head with my Fisher Price microphone. She took my microphone! A head bop seemed to be in order. (And she’s never tried to take a microphone from me since! 😉)
So why do we say it? I guess it’s the polite thing to do. It’s an acknowledgement of how we may have injured another person’s feelings, even though we think the other person’s feelings are total crap. Somewhere in the Big Book of Etiquette, apologies are mandated anyway.
But I think a much better answer is to simply change your behavior. If you are truly sorry, don’t hit your kid sister over the head. Real apologies are in the form of action, not words.