Apologizing with Dr. Stephanie Sarkis
Dr. Stephanie Sarkis holds a PhD, NCC, DCMHS and LMHC. She’s a bestselling author and psychotherapist specializing in anxiety, gaslighting, narcissistic abuse, and ADHD. Her latest book is Gaslighting: Recognize Manipulative and Emotionally Abusive People. She’s a Florida Supreme Court Certified Family and Circuit Mediator and a contributor to Forbes, Psychology Today and The Huffington Post, as well as the host of the Talking Brains podcast. We start by getting to the good part, talk about the lack of accountability and narcissism evident in those who refuse to apologize. Toxic personalities. 1980s philosophy (Wall Street, Gordon Gekko). Taking responsibility. Not being a doormat. Apologizing to each other in real time. Empathy, compassion and understanding. Showing you're trustworthy/having integrity. Having an asserting personality AND STILL apologizing. When people are heard, it changes thing (and that's 90% of what therapy is). Epidemic of loneliness. One person can make a huge difference. Binary thinking of apologizing/taking responsibility = admitting guilt. Acknowledgement of injustice. Lack of responsibility has been normalized by last administration. Empathy should be normalized in next administration. People who don't feel guilt. Following Mr. Roger's advice and "look for the helpers". New level of human suffering in 2020. Importance of accountability. You don't have to condone the behavior to accept the apology. Proper apology = "I'm sorry I hurt you; this is how/what I'm going to change." Motives. Apologies are not a contract/guarantee it won't happen again. ADHD. Repeat offenders. Non-apology = "I'm sorry you feel that way"/puts blame on the person harmed/deflects responsibility...and is a gaslighting technique. You're too sensitive/can't take a joke. If someone says you hurt them, you hurt them. It's easy to take responsibility. Don't blame yourself if someone refuses to apologize; that speaks to them. Setting boundaries (and becoming the difficult person because of that). Workplace offenses. We can't expect an apology for everything. Blanket apologies. Increasing our compassion (we don't know what others are going through, especially now). Giving grace to people while keeping our boundaries. If you think apologies are a weakness, talk to a professional to break those patterns (find out how it served you in the past and why it no longer serves you now). Don't underestimate the power of humor (but understand it's not always injectable). Behavior anomalies. If you have a complaint about another, check to see if you aren't guilty of the same. Fluffy McStuffins. Frayed nerves. If you charge up a hill, you might be met with a mirror. Those willing to apologize value human relationships, understand we are inherently flawed human beings, and maybe doesn't take themselves too seriously. Willingness to take responsibility. Separate ego from self. Waiting for a reckoning. What you can do to help heal stuff. Inherent entitlement. Addressing privilege. Shitler. Vocal racists. Not reconnecting. We can all be friends again. (No, we can't.) People can change—listen to what they say, pay attention to what they do. We are coming out of an abusive relationship (with our president). Gaslighting. Irreparable damage. Understanding what you have control over. Strengthening empathic muscles. Reaching out for help is a strength, not a weakness. Emotional intelligence mentors. Taking a refresher course on communication.
You can find Dr. Sarkis on Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn @stephaniesarkis, on Instagram @sarkisphd, on Facebook @StephanieSarkisPhD and her website stephaniesarkis.com. Her latest book is Gaslighting: Recognize Manipulative and Emotionally Abusive People—And Break Free.
Episode recorded on 12/18/20
Episode released on 01/20/21
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