The 2 Words You Should Never, Ever Say When You’re Apologizing

Using two little words in your apology could end up completely negating it — and HuffPost’s new podcast is here to explain why.

There are few things you can count on in life aside from dying, paying taxes and, at some point, having to apologize for some boneheaded thing you did (or maybe many, many boneheaded things).

But nailing a genuine “I’m sorry” is often anything but easy. There are numerous ways to veer off course, drag in unnecessary issues, or signal you don’t really mean what you’re saying. In fact, using two little words — “if” or “but” — in your apology could end up completely negating it.

That’s because “I’m sorry if…” or “I’m sorry but…” usually position the apology as conditional, and what follows can cancel out any accountability you might have intended to take or cast blame on the other person, which is the opposite of what you want to achieve.

This is just one of the ways we — Raj Punjabi and Noah Michelson, co-hosts of HuffPost’s “Am I Doing It Wrong?” podcast — discovered apologies can go very wrong when we recently chatted with HuffPost senior reporter Kelsey Borresen.

Listen to the episode below to find out what to say instead (including the one phrase you probably always want to add to your apologies), the difference between an excuse and an explanation (and why the latter can come in very handy), and more:

After you’ve had a listen above or wherever you get your podcasts, subscribe to “Am I Doing It Wrong?” so you don’t miss a single episode, including our investigation of the ins and outs of tipping, how to score the best deals on airline ticketsinterviewing for a job like a pro, getting the best sleep ever and slaying your next trip to the grocery store.

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