What does it mean if someone says "I stand by what I did"? That they still support what they did, or that they understand that it was wrong and that they own up to it. According to The Free Dictionary, to stand by means "To remain loyal to, committed to, or supportive of someone or something" which makes it seem like "to stand by a decision" means that they still support the decision. But I've often heard people use the phrase in apologies, which sets me thinking if that means that they do not actually regret what they did or if it means that they do not make up excuses.

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You are correct in your understanding that “standing by” something or someone means that you support it, are committed to it, or still believe it. In the real world, you must make compromises for the sake of peace or someone else’s feelings. A husband may stand by a decision as the right one. But, he may still submit to his wife’s decision to keep the peace. For example, I am painting the interior of our house. We are painting it the color that my wife decided. I still stand by the color I chose.

  • If you're not painting the house the colour you chose, then you are not standing by your colour. Your standing by your wife's colour. Were you to stand by your colour, you would not have used a different one. On the other hand, you can say that you're standing by your belief that the colour you wanted would have been better. Or you can say that you're standing by the decision. But you've actually abandoned the colour you wanted, which is the opposite of standing by it. Jul 13, 2020 at 1:22
  • @JasonBassford - Much like marriage, we will have to agree to disagree. I still stand by my choice of colors. It is absolutely the best choice. My mind won’t be changed on that. The OP asked about apologies in conjunction with standing by something. I stand by the fact that the two can happen together. Much like answers and paint colors. But, for the sake of peace, we will just have to agree to disagree.
    – Dean F.
    Jul 13, 2020 at 1:43

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