Monday, February 02, 2009

No ifs, ands or buts ...

I've been teaching my child about apologies. When you make them, you say "I'm sorry." You don't say "I'm sorry, but" or "I'm sorry, and" or "I'm sorry, but if" -- no explanations, no excuses. Those things make an apology into something less and usually make the person you are apologizing to less happy, not more happy.

I just read a post about saying "I love you." Same rules apply to saying "I love you" as do to saying "I'm sorry." You wouldn't say "I'm sorry, even though ..." and you don't do that with "I love you." (Even more so, "I love you even though" carries the message "I love you even though you aren't lovable.")

The only difference is that if someone says something, you can say "what do I care, I love you" in response or similar words. But, you can't say "I don't care about x, I love you anyway." That "anyway" is a killer, though the "I don't care" might be appropriate. Kind of like if you are apologizing and the other person says "yeah, but it was really my fault because" you might say "I don't care about" "I'm sorry."

In an apology, the only "and" you can add is "and I won't do that again." In "I love you" the only "and" you can add is "and I always will."

And always should.