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Why Won't You Apologize?: Healing Big Betrayals and Everyday Hurts Paperback – October 10, 2017
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"With her signature punch and humor, Harriet Lerner tackles the injuries that occur inmarriage, family and friendship. Her advice for repairinghurts and earning forgiveness is fresh, profound, life-affirming and immediately useful."--Janis Abrahms Spring, Ph.D., author of How Can I Forgive You?"
A profoundly insightful look into the many ways humans hurt each other and the power of apology to restore broken relationships. Harriet Lerner has written a valuable guide for both those who deserve an apology and those who owe one.--John Kador, author of Effective Apology"
I love Harriet Lerner s work! --Anne Lamott, author of Help, Thanks, Wow and Bird by Bird"
If you want to know why Harriet Lerner is one of my great heroes, "Why Won t You Apologize"? is the answer. This book is a game changer. --Brene Brown, Ph.D., LMSW, author of the New York Times #1 bestseller Rising Strong"
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There is the entire chapter called "How to find peace", and yet, the only answer she gives is "Any way you can".
Oh, thank you so much, it really helps.
Seems like Harriet Lerner betrayed the trust I put into her book and should apologise :)
The book might be useful for someone who wants to learn how to make good apologies, though.
Second, it takes a little while for things to sink in. There was some criticism that the advice for ‘getting over’ the hurt is too generic (‘anyway you can’). More specific advice would have to come from your therapist. A book cannot fix all the problems, but it can cause you to *think* in a different manner and then say, ‘Self, what about XZY?’
When I finished the book (finished it in a weekend), I didn’t get a lot out of it. But my therapist said, ‘Your mind will continue to work in (the problem).’ And it did finally— coming to the answer the author states very clearly in some of the last chapters: I will never receive an apology because for the people to apologize means they would have to tear asunder their belief they did the correct thing. And the belief they did the correct thing is what keeps them ‘sane’ (for lack of a better word).
I recommend this book, but don’t expect sound bites and pop psychology. You also have to work on this. Even if working on it is just letting your mind ruminate for awhile.
Finally, thank you to the author, for stating what a correct apology is. I now try to incorporate that into my life. I’m not perfect, but I try because I know how a ‘real’ apology is needed.
Subsequently we go over and beyond to ensure they last, sometimes in a negative aspect and other times in a positive one. We tolerate abuse and mistreatment in the name of love with the belief that having someone and something is better than nothing. On the other hand we broadcast unconditional love, and compassion. Further, sometimes it's a friend, family member, or spouse that surprises us with a wrongdoing, incurring damage to us and the relationship.
"We are hardwired to seek justice and fairness (however we see it), so the need to receive a sincere apology that’s due is deeply felt. We are also imperfect human beings and prone to error and defensiveness, so the challenge of offering a heartfelt apology permeates almost every relationship."
We try so hard to receive an apology, to make the other aware of our pain and hurt, while at the same time, ironically it is fairly difficult for us to give a genuine apology.
Sometimes we don't apologize correctly and wonder why our relationships aren't moving forward.
"It doesn’t matter if the statement you make after the “but” is true—it makes the apology false. It says, in effect, “Given the whole situation, my rudeness (or lateness, or sarcastic tone, or what-have-you) is pretty understandable.”
When apologizing we need to take into consideration the other persons feelings and hurt, not ours. To truly understand and repair our relationships we need to come from a place of unselfishness.
"A Good Apology Is Not About You Part of a true apology is staying deeply curious about the hurt person’s experience rather than hijacking it with your own emotionality. A heartfelt apology is not about you. If your intention is to offer a genuine apology, it’s the hurt party’s anger and pain that matters. Save yours for a different conversation."
“We apologize when we accept responsibility for an offence or grievance and express remorse in a direct, personal and unambiguous manner, offering restitution and promising not to do it again.” A good apology includes the words “I’m sorry” without “ifs,” “buts,” or any manner of undoings, obfuscations, and the like.
This book provides us with insight on how to properly receive, give and understand apologies.
Top international reviews
I also really liked the chapter dealing with "forgiveness" which breaks down the widespread myth that it's essential to forgive someone who hurt you in order to be positive, healthy and happy. While I do think forgiveness is very important when the other party deserves it and if it's a relationship that is important to you, I agree with the author that it is also possible to heal, let go and move on without having to forgive the other party if the transgression was unforgiveable. As a survivor of an abusive relationship that culminated in my ex boyfriend trying to kill me after I broke up with him, I cannot ever forgive him for what he did to me, but I was also able to eventually heal and move on with a positive outlook on life, so I am living proof that Harriet is right! (For me, the old saying that living well is the best revenge is 100% true... life often isn't fair and sometimes people will do terrible things to you and not be adequately punished, but by focusing on yourself and positive growth you can still find happiness. Personally, my brush with death made me appreciate life even more, and I now have a more positive attitude than many other people who have led much easier lives than I have!)
However, I wanted to raise a question regarding the case study story of Letty and Kim as I found an aspect of that story disturbing. This is NOT a criticism of the author, it's a question about the laws in the US regarding molestation/paedophilia. I'm not American so I wondered if American readers could answer this question. After Letty discovered that her daughter Kim had been molested at 12 years old by her father, her response was to "get the whole family into therapy". There was no mention in the story of Kim's father being prosecuted for his crime and that really shocked me, especially knowing that the family therapist must have heard the full story. Kim's father had committed a crime, so wasn't that family therapist obliged to notify the police, regardless of Letty not pressing charges? What are the laws in the US regarding this? I found it sickening that while Kim's father received therapy, he faced no legal penalty for abusing his daughter.
I got a lot from it.
The book will help someone become a better person. I will recommend the same.