This phrase always makes us chuckle, but it is a really great truth to apply in our relationships. For example, let’s say you get into a little heated disagreement. Then when it comes to apologizing you say, “I’m sorry . . . but (followed by an excuse or explanation).
Now go back to the title of this blog post. Do you get it now . . . leave the “but” behind? The word “but” added to the sentence is doomed for escalation! Don’t even go there.
An Invisible Zipper
It would be very helpful if as soon as the last syllable of “I’m sorry” came out of your mouth, there would be an automatic, invisible zipper that sealed your lips for maybe 30 seconds. That would probably be just enough time for the other person to respond positively and maybe add an “I’m sorry, too.” Perfect.
Rationalization and Self-Protection
Do you know why the “but” always feels so bad to the other person? It’s because it is defensive in nature. It’s called rationalization. It’s a means of self-protection and a way to avoid the feelings of shame (the shame of being or doing something wrong or the other kind of shame of having to be right). So our best recommendation in relationships is to stay with the two words . . . “I’m sorry.” (Period). And always leave the “but” behind.
Until next week . . .
NOTE: If you or someone you know is in need of finding a safe place for emotional and/or spiritual healing and restoration, please contact us at The Father’s Heart Intensive Christian Counseling Ministry through our web site at www.fathersheart.com or email us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
We are located in the North Georgia Mountains in a retreat-oriented environment and have established opportunities for ministry to individuals or couples for time periods as little as a few hours to as long as five days.