• Honey Dahari, LMFT, MBA

Don't Make this Apology Mistake!

"I'm sorry that your feelings were hurt, but you don't get what I meant!"

Did you know that just 1 word can undo an apology? BUT. Three letters long, it can destroy any progress in overcoming hurt and repairing pain caused. Most people have said it in the course of an argument, everyday discussion, or an apology. Many say it multiple times a day. Amazing, how such a small, innocent word can be so innocent and so mundane, yet have such destructive power.

So why does this small word completely negate an apology? What forces does it yield? Grammar lessons aside, this tiny word holds powerful implications. "But" actually tells the listener that your apology is meaningless. It means any responsibility you took for your own behavior is null and void, and often is a tool used to redirect blame to the one who is receiving the apology.

In other words, it not only negates the apology, it blames the one who was wronged. This is why using this word in an apology can cause so much destruction and can lead to powerful and counterproductive emotional and verbal responses.

If you ever find yourself in a situation where you feel the need to clarify as you apologize, here are some suggestions:

- Clarify after you apologize. Issue the apology, wait for the other party to calm, and then try to explain your position.

- Use the word "and", and be careful how you clarify your position.

- Don't clarify at all, don't bring it up another time. Just let it go.

For personalized support so you can stop arguing and restore peace in your relationship, contact Honey Dahari directly.

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