1 September 2017
Most people make apologies that are criticisms in disguise – while some know exactly what they are doing, others are clueless.
“I’m sorry that you feel that way.” (The blame is being put on the other person.)
“I’m sorry if I hurt your feelings.” (And if I didn’t hurt your feelings, then what I said is OK? Again, blame is being transferred.)
“I’m sorry if you took that the wrong way.” (Again, the blame is being put on the other person.)
“I’m sorry if that offended you.” (I’m not sorry if you were not offended even though what I did was wrong)
Apologies, in general, should not be conditional (containing the word “if”).
Proper apologies sound like this:
“I apologize for what I said.”
“I apologize for what I implied.”
“I didn’t mean what I said, and I apologize for saying it.”
“I was wrong in saying that, and I apologize.”