On Apology [NOOK Book]

Overview

One of the most profound interactions that can occur between people, apologies have the power to heal humiliations, free the mind from deep-seated guilt, remove the desire for vengeance, and ultimately restore broken relationships. With On Apology, Aaron Lazare offers an eye-opening analysis of this vital interaction, illuminating an often hidden corner of the human heart.
He discusses the importance of shame, guilt, and humiliation, the initial reluctance to apologize, the ...
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On Apology

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Overview

One of the most profound interactions that can occur between people, apologies have the power to heal humiliations, free the mind from deep-seated guilt, remove the desire for vengeance, and ultimately restore broken relationships. With On Apology, Aaron Lazare offers an eye-opening analysis of this vital interaction, illuminating an often hidden corner of the human heart.
He discusses the importance of shame, guilt, and humiliation, the initial reluctance to apologize, the simplicity of the act of apologizing, the spontaneous generosity and forgiveness on the part of the offended, the transfer of power and respect between two parties, and much more. Readers will not only find a wealth of insight that they can apply to their own lives, but also a deeper understanding of national and international conflicts and how we might resolve them.
The act of apologizing is quite simply immensely fulfilling. On Apology opens a window onto this common occurrence to reveal the feelings and actions at the heart of this profound interaction.
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Editorial Reviews

Daniel McMahon
Lazare is particularly astute when he addresses the queasiness that so many of us exhibit regarding public and collective apologies… The strength of this book rests in the stories of apologies that Lazare has collected from people, politics, literature and history.
— The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly
This jewel of a book reveals the many facets of the simple act of apology. Given, there are significant cultural differences in the way humans apologize. "Japanese apologies are more apt to communicate submissiveness, humility, and meekness whereas Americans are more apt to communicate sincerity," writes Lazare, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Under the surface of their differing presentations, however, in spite of their length or even sometimes their complete wordlessness, all true apologies are a kind of offering intended to restore the dignity and self-respect of the offended party, according to the author. An apology can work a miracle, inspiring spontaneous generosity and forgiveness on the part of the offended, whether it is a whole people or a single individual. Drawing on a vast array of literary and real-life examples, such as Agamemnon, George Patton and Arnold Schwarzenegger, from the current pope to the machinist who approached him after a lecture, Lazare lucidly dissects the process of apology: offering an explanation; communicating remorse, shame, humility or sincerity (according to our cultural values); making a gesture of reparation or reconciliation. Among the most moving examples in the book is Lincoln's second inaugural address, in which he apologizes for American slavery : "two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil" enabling some to "wring their bread from the sweat of other men's faces." Just as breathtaking was the apology made by Kevin Gover, an assistant secretary of Indian affairs, for that agency's grave crimes against the Indian people. Lazare succeeds in showing that a true apology is among the most graceful and profound of all human exchanges. When it is sincere, it is not an end but a new beginning. "It is a behavior that requires of both parties an attitude of honesty, generosity, humility, commitment, and courage," he writes. Everybody on earth could benefit from this small but essential book. (Sept.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199884995
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 9/17/2004
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 376,539
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

Aaron Lazare, M.D., is Chancellor and Dean, and Professor of Psychiatry, at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, in Worcester, Massachusetts and Senior Psychiatrist at the Massachusetts General Hospital. He is a leading authority on the psychology of shame and humiliation, and wrote a highly regarded article on apology in Psychology Today that led to appearances on "Oprah," "Talk of the Nation."

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Table of Contents

1 The growing importance of apologies 1
2 The paradox of apologies 22
3 How apologies heal 44
4 Acknowledging the offense 75
5 Remorse, explanations, and reparation 107
6 Why people apologize 134
7 Why people do not apologize 159
8 The timing of apologies 170
9 Delayed apologies 180
10 Negotiating apologies 204
11 Apology and forgiveness 228
12 Afterword : the future of apologies 251
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Customer Reviews

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