Why Won't You Apologize?: Healing Big Betrayals and Everyday Hurts

Why Won't You Apologize?: Healing Big Betrayals and Everyday Hurts

Harriet Lerner / May 26, 2020

Why Won t You Apologize Healing Big Betrayals and Everyday Hurts The renowned psychologist and bestselling author of The Dance of Anger Harriet Lerner sheds new light on the two most important words in the English language I m sorry and offers a unique perspective

  • Title: Why Won't You Apologize?: Healing Big Betrayals and Everyday Hurts
  • Author: Harriet Lerner
  • ISBN: null
  • Page: 485
  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • The renowned psychologist and bestselling author of The Dance of Anger, Harriet Lerner 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 relationships and restoring trust.Lerner has been studying apologies for than two decades In Why Won t You Apologize she offersThe renowned psychologist and bestselling author of The Dance of Anger, Harriet Lerner 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 relationships and restoring trust.Lerner has been studying apologies for than two decades In Why Won t You Apologize she offers compelling stories and solid theory to demonstrate the transformative power of making amends, and what is required for healing when the damage we ve inflicted or received is far from simple Readers will learn how to craft a meaningful apology and avoid signals of insincerity that only deepen suffering.In Why Won t You Apologize Lerner challenges the popular notion that forgiveness is the only path to peace of mind and helps those who have been injured to resist pressure to forgive too easily She explains what drives both the non apologizer and the over apologizer, and why the people who do the worst things are the least able to own their misdeeds With her trademark humour and wit, Lerner offers a joyful and sanity saving guide to setting things right.

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      Posted by:Harriet Lerner
      Published :2019-08-17T02:14:41+00:00

    About "Harriet Lerner"

      • Harriet Lerner

        Harriet Lerner was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, the second of two daughters Her parents, Archie and Rose Goldhor, were both children of Russian Jewish immigrant parents They were high school graduates who wanted their daughters to be someone at a time when women were only supposed to find someone Achievement was next to Godliness for my sister, Susan, and me Harriet notes My father would talk about My daughters the doctors while we were still in our strollers Growing up, Harriet and Susan spent weekends at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden, the Brooklyn Public Library and the Brooklyn Museum These places were free and just a subway token away Lerner s mother had an unwavering belief in her daughters and strong principles about how to raise children In Harriet s words Even during the hardest economic times my mother, Rose, made sure that Susan and I had four things that she believed were essential to our later success 1 Good shoes I don t mean stylish 2 A firm, quality mattress 3 A top pediatrician none other than Doctor Benjamin Spock 4 A therapistUnlike other parents of the day who considered therapy to be a last resort of the mentally ill, my mother thought it was a learning experience She put me in therapy before I was three, after obtaining a health insurance policy that provided weekly therapy sessions for one dollar I later joked that my mother would send me to a therapist if I came home from school with anything less than a B plus I was exaggerating, but only a little bit Her mother s belief in therapy undoubtedly contributed to Lerner s career choice She decided to become a clinical psychologist before finishing kindergarten a decision she never veered fromCATION AND CAREERLerner attended local public schools in Brooklyn including Midwood High School She did her undergraduate work at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, where she majored in psychology and Indian studies She spent her junior year studying and doing research in Delhi, India Lerner received an M.A in educational psychology from Teachers College of Columbia University and a Ph.D in clinical psychology from the City University of New York It was there that she met and later married Steve Lerner, also a clinical psychologist.Harriet and Steve did a pre doctoral internship at Mt Zion Hospital in San Francisco and moved to Topeka, Kansas in 1972 for a two year postdoctoral training program at the Menninger Foundation, where they subsequently joined the staff We always planned to move back to Berkeley or New York, says Lerner But two years in Topeka turned into two decades and then some She now identifies herself as a Kansan and claims to have overcome her coastal arrogance She has grown to love the simple life meaning she has never had to learn to parallel park and the big open skies After Menninger closed shop in Topeka and moved to Houston, Lerner and her husband moved to Lawrence, Kansas where they currently have a private practice They have two sons, Matt and Ben.Lerner is best known for her scholarly work on the psychology of women and family relationships, and for her many best selling books Feminism and family systems theory continue to inform her writing She has dedicated her writing life to translating complex theory into accessible and useful prose, and has become one of our nation s most trusted and respected relationship experts.Lerner s books have been published in than thirty five foreign editions Her latest book January 2012 is Marriage Rules A Manual for the Married and the Coupled Up.HONORS AND AWARDS PARTIAL LISTING New York Distinguished Honor, National Anger Management AssociationKansas Distinguished Award for LiteratureWilliam Allen White Award for Excellence in Literary and Journalistic Achievement Woman of Distinction, Girl Scouts of America Award Woman of Word


    1. "Why Won't You Apologized", examines "The Many Faces of 'I'm Sorry". For two decades Harriet Lerner has been studying apologies. She's learned a few things ---witnessed tremendous powerful rewards from a heartfelt apology-- as well as the damage a bad apology can cause. The healing power of a 'good' apology is immediately recognizable. Anger and resentment melts away. It feels better to be connected than disconnected.but as Harriet says, "we're all apology-challenged with certain people and in s [...]

    2. 3.5 "an important conversation to begin" stars !! All of us have been hurt by strangers and loved ones alike. These hurts take up a disproportionate amount of our interior lives and are sometimes the cause of dysfunctional ways of being in the world, in our relationships and with ourselves. Dr. Lerner begins a very important conversation about the nature of hurt, betrayals, apologies and forgiveness. She bitten off a huge topic and in a pleasant and vaguely helpful way discusses the nature of th [...]

    3. 5 stars. Harriet Lerner's latest book is filled with points on apology: the bogus apology, the overlong apology, holding off on the use of BUT and IF which are dealbreakers, and when and how to give and accept an olive branch. Earnest, honest considerate apologies retain connection in relationships, demonstrate respect and maturely express accountability. And most people have a hard time letting go to offer an apology- Lerner covers that and more in her very informative book. I was hoping to fin [...]

    4. Quick review for a quick read. It took me around 4 or so hours to read through this thought-provoking psychological read on the dissection of apologies. Topics that Harriet Lerner approaches in this book include what constitutes an apology (and what doesn't), what the types of apologies are, when and how to give them, why people don't give them, and the reception of apologies on a number of different levels. I also like the fact that this narrative mentions that you don't need to forgive someone [...]

    5. Sensible, clear and wise advice, with humour and honesty throughout. Just what I needed to read and think about. Many clear examples and suggested scripts. A balanced approach, without much of the quasi-mystical gobbledy-gook of many self-help books on this topic.

    6. A slender volume full of generous insights into good and bad apologies: how to frame a deeply meaningful one; how to identify “weaselly” insincere ones; when to accept, when not to, and how to go about it; how to express hurt and pain; how to hold the conversation that comes after; and what the elusive term “forgiveness” means and doesn’t mean. As to that last point, it’s a myth that “there’s no peace or healing without forgiveness.” Many paths roll up to the door of being able [...]

    7. Reading this book was kind of a wake-up call for me. Before I read this book, I couldn't even recall how many times in my life that I said "sorry" to the other people that they couldn't accept. I got hurt and frustrated so often thinking that the other party did not have the willingness to fix the problems while I wanted to. I would easily jump to conclusions that the other people were being difficult or they just wanted to prolong the fight. The thing was that I was never aware of how insincere [...]

    8. All the reasons why we don't want to or feel we should have to apologize and all the reasons why it's important to do provide an honest, heartfelt apology in the correct way.

    9. This book has powerful stories and solid theory about how much the simple apology matters and why we so often muck it up. The information and examples are presented with wit and intelligence. Lerner explains how to craft a deeply meaningful “I’m sorry” and avoid making mistakes that only deepen the original injury. She offers a unique perspective and reminds us that as human beings we are going to make mistakes and we are going to feel wronged. This is a book we must all have as a resource [...]

    10. I love Harriet Lerner. Her stories and examples and insights are so spot-on, funny and applicable. I feel like I just got 10 therapy sessions for free by reading this book.

    11. Wow. Just, wow. I wasn't expecting much from this book; although I know Lerner's reputation, I'd not read any of her long-form work, and had no idea how wise she is. This is not your garden-variety self-help, self-shrink book.This is written for two audiences -- those need to learn how to apologize better and those who need to know how to live without getting the exact apologies (or any apologies) they believe or feel they need.Lerner, the expert on the psychological underpinnings of anger, fear [...]

    12. I'm a firm believer that nobody should tell you how you should live your life, hence my dislike for self-help books. I started reading this one, taking it as a psychology book, for several reasons: just to learn about the apologizing process, to try to find why sometimes I can't let go of some circumstances and because I thought it could be beneficial for me given some family situations I'm experiencing at this very moment. And boy, I wasn't expecting to like it as much as I did. I learned a lot [...]

    13. I thought I had a pretty good practical understanding of forgiveness, generosity, and apology. Boy did I learn so much more from this book. Lerner treats concepts like forgiveness, compassion, and empathy with truth and grace, showing us that ideas that, for example, encourage us to always forgive in order to heal ourselves, are potentially problematic and harmful, and at best unhelpful. I loved this book for its intellectual takeaways, but also for the practical tools I can put into practice im [...]

    14. I loved the sections that were on apologies - the first half of the book and the last chapter. Those I would give 5 stars for being accessible, helpful, and interesting. The middle part of the book, on forgiveness, seemed not to fit at all. Three stars at best for that part. Lerner seemed to throw out all religious reasons for forgiveness, or the long history of forgiveness in religious tradition - which would have made her exploration of forgiveness as practice much more well-rounded.

    15. This book is a pretty light read. It aggregates simple concepts and makes them very easy to understand; it does not offer a solution but it offers a lot of tools to reach a settlement with oneself. A very good basic read

    16. Everyone could learn from this: the simplicity of a heartfelt apology, the qualifiers that make a bad one ("I'm sorry if" or "I'm sorry but"), the importance of timing, nonapologizers (usually men), overapologizers (usually women), the decision of forgiveness (and what forgiveness really means) and how to try to mend long-simmering wrongs, minimize ongoing conflicts or atone for huge mistakes.

    17. This was a great book about how apologies should work, and the many reasons they don't, between mostly functional human beings who usually care about each other, and when (and when not) to forgive someone.I like to say that a real apology has five parts: 1) the words "I'm sorry" or "I apologize," 2) a description of what offence was committed, 3) an acknowledgement of the damage that offence caused, 4) a promise not to do it again, and 5) some kind of description of how that promise will be kept [...]

    18. Why Won't You Apologize?: Healing Big Betrayals and Everyday Hurts by Harriet Lerner is very highly recommended, accessible discourse on apologies. This is a practical guide that anyone can understand and benefit from. The information and examples are presented with wit and intelligence. Why Won't You Apologize? would be a great addition to anyone's self-help library.Through stories and examples Dr. Lerner explores the healing power of a good apology, how important apologies are, how to craft a [...]

    19. There is so much wisdom here! I will read this book again. Much of the content has lead me to really challenge my own behaviour in my relationships and has fostered compassion for those in my life who struggle with apologies. The one major flaw of this book was some of the content in the end. Loved her perspective on forgiveness but was a bit frustrated by the lack of practical guidance on how to let go of unproductive anger and bitterness. Dr. Lerner kept encouraging the reader to let go of unp [...]

    20. Mrs. Lerner's ability to clearly articulate what I have been trying to express for years is fantastic. She completely and fully describes what she deems defensive "non-apologies," (AKA "sorry if what I said made you upset" and "sorry you feel that way," among others). The reasons these "apologies"have always seemed hollow to me is because they shift responsibility and place a burden on the person who has been wronged! She even describes over-apologizing as well as addressing underlying issues du [...]

    21. Audiobook. One of my favourite narrators.I really enjoyed this book. It deals with both sides of the equation, being the person giving the apology and the person receiving the apology. There's a lot of wisdom on relationships in this book that goes beyond apologies. One idea that stuck with me was how shame can interfere with our ability to apologize. When we have done something shameful it can be hard to be accountable to it, we keep justifying the shameful action, to weasel out of it. We give [...]

    22. RATING: 4 STARS(Review Not on Blog)The hardest thing about being hurt or betrayed is when that person does not apologize. Them not asking for forgiveness means that they are admitting that the hurt occurred. It's hard to move on and heal when you start to get obsessed over getting that apology. You relive the that moment over and over again trying to get something you may not ever get. And there is also the easy forgiveness that does not hold any significance. Saying, "sorry" nonchalantly only m [...]

    23. Sorry seems to be the hardest word to say but the book provides some very practical advice of how to say it right. I am glad to know that even if a person apologises, the other has the right not to forgive. We should not apologise in the hope that we will be forgiven. Apology is one thing and forgiveness is another and they don't have an absolute casual relationship. Instead of thinking about saying sorry, I'd rather talk and act with care so as not to hurt others' feeling. It's like the nail in [...]

    24. Reading this book has already strengthened several relationships in my life. It's so, so much more than your typical advice on apologizes and forgiveness. It inspires you to be a more generous, understanding, big hearted human being. There are so many people I want to (and will) recommend this to.

    25. Harriet Lerner's writing is to the point. You might look at the size of this book & think "There can't really be anything in something so small," but you'd be wrong. Lerner doesn't waste time with her language. She doesn't step around hard issues, like affairs or molestation. And she doesn't step around the intricacies of apologies, of what makes an apology, of why you may never receive an apology & how to deal with that, & the fact that you don't need to forgive in order to move for [...]

    26. Harriet Lerner does an excellent job of dissecting and analyzing why we can be reluctant to apologize, how we "faux apologize," and what a genuine apology consists of. There was so much of what she touched on that resonated with my experience, both as apologizer and apologizee.There was, however, a point in which Harriet and I diverged: forgiveness. She vehemently maintains that forgiveness is not necessary for healing, which I vehemently disagree with. In listening to her reasoning, I found tha [...]

    27. I have to say, of all the chapters in this book, I liked the ones about forgiveness the best.I'll show my ass here and admit that I regularly watch Dr. Phil. I tend not to take too much of what he says seriously, but one of the things that always seriously bug me about his show is how he almost bullies some of his guests into forgiving people who have wronged them. And he uses some of the same language that the author used as an example here, most of it amounting to, "If you don't forgive them y [...]

    28. Now, here's a book that everyone should read.I for one am an incredibly stubborn and prideful person. Even when I know an apology for something I've done is in order, I find the words stick in my throat and I find myself rationalizing just why it is I don't -really- need to give an apology. Worse than that, I found myself neatly categorized in this book for my propensity to say, "I'm sorry, BUT" and neatly turn the blame on others. There were actually multiple instances in this book upon reading [...]

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