There are several words that ruin an apology, but "if" is among the most common, non-sensical, and counterproductive.
We say things like "I'm sorry if I offended you..." But if we hadn't certainly offended someone, we wouldn't be apologizing. "If" is a word of possibilities; in this case, the possibility that your offense may be illegitimate. It says, "I know I offended you, but maybe that says more about you than it does about me."
Apologizing is hard because it takes a tremendous amount of strength and humility. To apologize is to admit unequivocally that I have committed some kind of offense. It is a request to be pardoned. And to render such speech is to imbue the offended party with uncomfortable powers: Will they also apologize for their part in the conflict or make you the scapegoat? Will they try to humiliate you more, since you've already agreed with their offense?
Regardless of the risks, a bad apology is as good as no apology at all.
Award-winning LA-based singer-songwriter Andre Henry is often compared to Seal, Frank Ocean, and James Blake, as he combines elements of soul, reggae, electronica, and folk to make sensitive, intelligent indie-R&B music for the world's endangered population of hopeless romantics. He's also a Bible teacher and author of The Great Invitation: An Online Devotional for Immortals. Learn more about Andre at: andrehenrymusic.com