Why won't you apologize? : healing big betrayals and everyday hurts / Harriet Lerner, Ph.D.

The best-selling author of The Dance of Anger shares insight into the role of apologies in healing broken connections and restoring trust, sharing compelling case stories and tested theories that explain how to craft a meaningful apology while avoiding choices that deepen original injuries.

Main Author: Lerner, Harriet Goldhor,
Published: New York : Touchstone, 2016.
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"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." --Brené Brown, PhD, LMSW, author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Rising Strong

"Harriet Lerner is one hell of a wise woman. She draws you in with deft and engaging prose, and then changes your life with her rigorous intelligence and her deeply human advice. I promise that you will never see 'the apology' in quite the same way." --Esther Perel, MA, LMFT author of Mating in Captivity

Renowned psychologist and bestselling author of The Dance of Anger sheds new light on the two most important words in the English language--I'm sorry--and offers a unique perspective on the challenge of healing broken connections and restoring trust.

Dr. Harriet Lerner has been studying apologies--and why some people won't give them--for more than two decades. Now she offers compelling stories and solid theory that bring home how much the simple apology matters and what is required for healing when the hurt we've inflicted (or received) is far from simple. Readers will learn how to craft a deeply meaningful "I'm sorry" and avoid apologies that only deepen the original injury.

Why Won't You Apologize? also addresses the compelling needs of the injured party--the one who has been hurt by someone who won't apologize, tell the truth, or feel remorse. Lerner explains what drives both the non-apologizer and the over-apologizer, as well as why the people who do the worst things are the least able to own up. She helps the injured person resist pressure to forgive too easily and challenges the popular notion that forgiveness is the only path to peace of mind. With her trademark humor and wit, Lerner offers a joyful and sanity-saving guide to setting things right.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1The Many Faces of "I'm Sorry"

p. 1

Chapter 2Five Ways to Ruin an Apology

p. 13

Chapter 3More Wimpy, Overblown, and Downright Relationship-Busting Sorrys

p. 25

Chapter 4Apologizing Under Fire: How to Handle Big-Time Criticism

p. 35

Chapter 5The Secret Life of the Non-Apologizer

p. 53

Chapter 6"He's So Defensive!" What Do You Have to Do With It?

p. 71

Chapter 7How-and Whether-to Accept the Olive Branch

p. 93

Chapter 8Who Is at Fault? When Reconciliation Grinds to a Halt

p. 109

Chapter 9The Most Stunning Apology I Ever Witnessed

p. 127

Chapter 10"You Need to Forgive" and Other Lies That Hurt You

p. 137

Chapter 11How to Find Peace

p. 157

Chapter 12The Two Most Powerful Words in the English Language

p. 175


p. 187


p. 191