Saying Sorry

For many of us, the two hardest words to say in the English language are “I’m sorry.” Psychologist Harriet Lerner joins us to talk about why it’s so tough to admit when we’re wrong – and why making amends is good for everyone. Lerner is the author of 12 books including “Why Won’t You Apologize? Healing Big Betrayals and Everyday Hurts” (Touchstone) and “Dance of Anger: A Woman’s Guide to Changing the Patterns of Intimate Relationships” (HarperCollins).

Harriet Lerner on …

… what not to say when trying to apologize: 

“The word ‘but’ is the most common way to muck up an apology. ‘I’m sorry I yelled at you, but you provoked me. I’m sorry that I forgot your birthday, but I was snowed under with work.’ It doesn’t matter if what you say after the apology is true. The word ‘but’ makes the apology false. So, get your ‘but’ out of your apology.”