Heartfelt apologies are rarely given but, when given, are usually profoundly healing. People resist apologizing because it opens the door to feelings of terrible guilt. Having committed a hurtful offense becomes (falsely) equated in our minds with being a bad and horrible person. The person receiving a sincere apology, on the other hand, feels absolved of guilt and shame, feelings which were excessive to begin with.
Popular culture celebrates the importance of forgiveness, particularly of children forgiving their parents. Unfortunately, too often such forgiveness is simply a repetition of a universal, albeit self-destructive tendency in children to let their parents off the hook in the service of maintaining a connection with caretakers upon whom children are completely dependent. Facing the pain that parents were responsible for inflicting is usually a necessary part of psychological growth and, ultimately, of self-forgiveness.
I’m happy to announce that I’m launching a new podcast in January that I’m calling “Mysteries of the Mind.” I’m going to take up a different topic in psychology each week, topics that highlight the interesting and powerful ways our unconscious minds affect our lives. I’m aiming this podcast at lay people, not professional therapists. […]
Sometimes it seems that it took images of crying toddlers and grieving mothers to mobilize Americans against Donald Trump and his Right-wing enablers. Of course, there has certainly been a “resistance” to Trump before now, but nothing like what erupted following the implementation of Trump’s zero tolerance policy. Notwithstanding, the current Right-wing echo chamber’s cynical spin about these news stories, the outpouring of spontaneous indignation about forced family separations at the border spanned the political spectrum. Christian evangelicals, the UN Commission on Human Rights, several Republican lawmakers, and even the Pope were all upset and angry. The depiction of children who lost their mothers sparked greater and more intense resistance than most of Trump’s other offensive and provocative initiatives.