Sorry I am late.
Thank you for waiting patiently.
Which one sounds better to you?
Receiving sorry makes the listener feels like owing forgiveness to the speaker. The listener is put in place where he is expected to give something. Sorry also signifies guilt in the speaker. The speaker puts himself in need of forgiveness.
Thank you signifies gratitude. The speaker shows gratitude to the listener. The listener feels appreciated. He feels complimented for what he has given to the speaker who made the mistake, which the listener can’t take back and can’t undo.
The listener don’t have to weigh whether he needs to say
I forgive you
but instead, say
for the gratitude and compliment he just received.
Let’s practice saying
Thank you for lending me your ears.
Thank you for giving me your time.
Thank you for supporting me despite our arguments.
Thank you for standing up for me against the bullies.
Thank you for being my friend.
Thank you for letting me be in your life.
May our lives be positive and beautiful.