The only thing worse than a missed apology is a fake one. But even when you don’t mean to, your friends may think a fake apology is exactly what you’re giving them.
Photo by butupa
Often, we quality our apologies with “if” and “but”. Lifehack.org notes this can make them sound insincere:
Here it is in two forms: “I’m sorry if you were hurt by X or Y” or “I’m sorry but you never told me Z.” The key words that make these examples insincere are “if” and “but.” These words shift responsibility from you to the person you are apologising to.
When you apologise, focus on accepting responsibility instead of thwarting it. Replace “I’m sorry if you were hurt by X or Y” with “I’m sorry for hurting you” to be more sincere to the people who are worth it.
For more tips on saying you’re sorry, check out the key components of an effective apology.