The POWER of APOLOGY.
We all know how good it feels to receive a sincere apology when we’ve been wronged . Sometimes, it can make all the difference in whether or not we heal emotionally from the situation. An interesting study at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond shows that apology produces other results. Students were asked to first imagine being robbed, and then that the robber had either made a heartfelt apology, made restitution or restored the stolen items, or did both or neither. The students who imagined receiving the apology and restitution had lower heart rates and blood pressure, less muscle tension, and less stress overall. In addition, they also said they felt more forgiveness, empathy, and gratitude, along with less sadness, fear, and anger.
This is wonderful news, but for the most part, apology has little standing in the legal system. Offering an apology is, in many minds, tantamount to admitting guilt, which opens the door to lawsuits. Yet some lawyers are discovering that a sincere apology con actually reduce the number of lawsuits filed after people have been harmed, as well as reduce the amount of settlements or court-mandated awards. Apology also has other benefits.
Rick IIalpert, a personal injury lawyer in Kalamazoo, Michigan, regularly encourages the use of apology in his practice. He says many people who have been injured only come to see a lawyer because the person or entity responsible for the injury won’t listen to them. Furthermore, “money received in litigation does little to help the person with their grief and anger,” he says. “They really want someone to acknowledge their pain and what has happened to them.” When a heartfelt apology is offered and accepted, “there is a level of emotional and spiritual healing that does not happen without it,” he explains.
Halpert believes that if the use of apology was more prevalent in all kinds of situations, society would be the better for it. “In the Western world, we live in a me-centered society where only the fittest are supposed to survive,” he says. “God forbid you should apologize and appear weaker. So we’ve become extremely defensive and self-centered. But if we start, wholesale, offering apologies and understanding the world from the other person’s point of view, it would transform society.”
Read more about Halpert and apology at:
Church of the Science of God
La Jolla, California 92038-3131
© Church of the Science of GOD, 1993