Jun 19, 2014

If I were to ask you to drop one thing to day it would be the qualified apology.


That is the “I am sorry, but”


I mean, unless it is in the vein of “I am sorry, but I need to ask you to move so I can get my wheelchair around…”

Or something of the ilk.


But the next time you find yourself muttering an apology, followed by the word “but”…

Ask yourself, what is the purpose of the “but?”


Are you giving context for your transgression? If so, perhaps you might consider dropping the “but” and making it clear your apology is authentic by simply using “and” or nothing at all.

NOT: I am sorry I am late, but I  was caught in traffic (thereby absolving oneself of blame and clarifying a certain lack of personal concern) BUT: I am sorry I was late. I got caught in traffic and next time will allow more time to get here.

NOT: I am sorry I was rude, but I am having a bad day (thereby clarifying that your behavior is outside of your own jurisdiction and quite actually the fault of an outside party, not to mention that you are not willing to mitigate such behavior in order to prevent another person from having the same bad day) BUT: I am sorry I was rude, I am having a bad day and should not have taken that out on you”


See the distinction.

Or better yet, if context provides little comfort or clarity, just drop the details, after all.

“I am sorry I was late, I should have planned for traffic”

“I am sorry I was rude, I shouldn’t take my bad day out on other people”


AND, more saliently, if you are not sorry, best not to utter words that mean that. If sorry if being used as a disclaimer (I am sorry for violating this societal norm, but as you can see, even though I am aware of it, I actually just don’t give a fuck about it it!) then just drop it entirely. Wear your devil may care attitude proudly, because at that point by apologizing you are just clarifying that another’s possible discomfort is their own problem, one you are aware probably exists, but which comes secondarily to your own and you are being patronizing by letting them know you considered their feelings, then decided not to care.

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