With any close relationship there inevitably comes a time when you need to make an apology.
The more time we spend with people, the more room there is for a mismatch in behaviour or communication, and whether our actions were deliberate or completely unintended, somewhere along the line, someone we care about is hurt, insulted, offended or betrayed.
Apologies can be difficult to make though.
Most of us want to be seen as a good person and not be perceived as someone who is careless, and hurtful. We also tend to come neatly packaged with a natural aversion to being wrong, or flawed.
It’s usually uncomfortable to admit fault.
But being able to apologise well will make a big difference to any relationship we are part of, and goes a lot further towards actually making us that good person we want to be, letting the people we love know that their feelings are important to us.
How To Apologise Badly
There are two small words that can be used within an apology that are guaranteed to slowly corrode any relationship.
Both words seem innocuous and are used so often that most of us don’t even think about it.
And yet, add either of these words into an apology and they have the power to undo anything that is said before, or after them, rendering your apology completely void and, in some cases, turning an apology into fighting words.
I’m talking about IF and BUT.
Two tiny, commonly used words that have so much meaning behind them in certain situations.
Particularly for the person on the receiving end of them.
Have you ever said the following to someone you’ve found yourself needing to say sorry to?
‘I’m sorry if you feel offended?’