Thursday, July 8, 2010

Saying "Sorry"

Never say "I'm sorry, but....". Either you are sorry or you're not, no "but" anything....that cancels the whole apology.

Here are some quotes I found that are by people that are much better than I am at expressing themselves.

“Sincere forgiveness isn't colored with expectations that the other person apologize or change. Don't worry whether or not they finally understand you. Love them and release them. Life feeds back truth to people in its own way and time.” Sara Paddison

"Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future"~Paul Boese

“A stiff apology is a second insult…. The injured party does not want to be compensated because he has been wronged; he wants to be healed because he has been hurt.”~ Gilbert Keith Chesterton

"An apology is the superglue of life. It can repair just about anything." Lynn Johnston

"It will never do to plead sin as an excuse for sin, or to attempt to justify sinful acts by pleading that we have an evil heart. This instead of being a valid apology, is the very ground of our condemnation." Archibald Alexander


Ken Miller said...

Very wise words Krista . . . beginning with your own insight that the word BUT never belongs in a sincere apology. BUT truly cancels whatever good might have come from the apology.

Also, no truer words have ever been said than these: "he wants to be healed because he has been hurt."

When BUT is inserted into an apology the original pain is caused again and the pain is doubled. If you have to insert a BUT into your apology it's best to just remain silent and not do any more damage.

BUT is always inserted to excuse yourself for causing the pain you caused (whether you meant to cause it or not. Excusing yourself should never be the reason for making an apology. An apology should always be about relieving the pain you have caused; it's not about relieving your own pain. There will be time enough for that when the other person reaches the point where they can apologize for the pain they caused you. And then, when that time comes, you'll know that their apology is sincere and not forced by the BUT you inserted into your apology.

Krista Miller said...

Absolutely! This has taken me years to understand. I do really try to avoid it now though. Thank you for your comments :)

natterbee said...

BUT it's hard to say you're sorry!

Practice makes perfect, though. I swear the more one apologizes the easier it becomes.

Ken Miller said...


Yes, saying you're sorry is hard, but it's not nearly as hard as actually being sorry for the pain you caused someone . . . not just sorry that they blame you.

I think Krista's point is that the focus of your sorrow is what matter's most. Is it truly sorrow for the pain you caused someone else, or is it sorrow that they blame you for that pain? Adding BUT's to your apology makes it clear that your sorrow is the latter kind.

Krista - correct me if I'm wrong!

Krista Miller said...