The Danger of IF & BUT


Please take a minute to think about the words IF and BUT. Such little words but they can have such a big impact on your brand.

Do you realize that if you add the words IF or BUT to an apology it demeans the sentiment and neuters the meaning?

“I’m sorry IF you thought I was being mean,” is not an apology because the IF has disclaimed the value of “I’m sorry.” Being sorry is not based on how the wronged party felt about the action being apologized for; it’s based on feeling remorse for having done something wrong in the first place.

“I’m sorry you were offended BUT I didn’t mean to hurt your feelings,” is not an apology because the intention of the slight has nothing to do with its ultimate effect.

And “I’m sorry IF you were bothered by what I said BUT I was angry,” is not an apology either because none of the conditions have anything to do with the situation being apologized for. Being angry enough to say something stupid is not a reasonable excuse for the stupidity itself.

I find it interesting that these short little words, IF and BUT have so much weight. With just two or three letters the power of a sincere apology can be completely neutralized.

And the same thing can happen during your sales pitch…

Bruce Turkel


Bruce is the CEO of Turkel Brands, the company that exists to make their clients' brands more valuable.

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