Tag Archives: opinion

“i said it because i love you”

25 Apr

This is probably one of the sentences people say that I loathe the most. It sounds like it has good intention, but it sounds more like the person doesn’t want to admit his mistake openly while giving the impression of him apologizing.

Come to think about it, I don’t know other sentences that I would say I hate, maybe it would be “you smell like diarrhea.”

So the first time I heard the backhanded sentence happened back when I was in high school. A few of us guys from the church went with our youth pastor to a Christian weekend conference that was about an hour and a half from where I lived. While we waited in the Jack in the Box drive-thru for breakfast, I remember light-heartedly complaining about something, the food maybe? And the youth pastor snapped. What he said next remains hazy, and it was to the effect of “stop your complaining.” Yet it was the tone he used that stood out; it was like a split-second hurricane that came out of nowhere in the clear sky. Harsh and unexpected. Like bringing up a storm to knock over some Jenga blocks. All of us guys remained quiet until we arrived at the conference for the second day.

The following Sunday after the youth service, he walked up to me, made some small talk and then said, “D.L., I said it because I love you.” And a hug. It felt awkward because he had only been serving for about three or four months. At the time though, I felt confused and thought it was somehow my fault.

In the right circumstance, this phrase might be helpful. Maybe one of those heavy, poignant moments when someone has to tell an uncomfortable truth and does care about the person he’s telling it to.

Yet to say this phrase as a half-baked apology is like giving someone with a headache laxatives.