Apologies and Redemption, and How Toxic Groups Can Accept Bad Behavior, Group Narcissism

I speak on conflict management, bullying and sexual harassment and part of that work emphasize healing work and proper apologies. One the many steps in a redemptive recovery is the abuser admits they did harm and asks what they can do.

The article below shows the hurt abuse victim feel when the abuser gives a false apology. It is also interesting that is shows how a tribe (the church members) can accept bad behavior in a tribes member/leader (one of their ministers.) The tribal members think they are being good Christians to forgive him, but they overlooked the fact that it was a false apology. Not only was it not a true apology with the potential to help the victim the tribe forgave him when they had no right to as he hadn't given an apology from his victim.

Abusers can continue to abuse they can deny they abused, forget or distort the full truth of their abuses or they can choose to heal learn and grow! It would have to be a very safe healing place.
"To have him listen to me was almost the most important thing for me. And it was part of him being accountable and taking responsibility. It was so satisfying ... to have the person who hurt you sit there and listen to you and not blame you for it and admit to what they did, and to remember some of the abuse. Even though Steve didn't remember a lot of it in our first conversations, he started to remember."

Restorative justice!

Update. I find it Interesting that this happened. Then people outside the church, people not in the tribe, reacted that he had not acted properly and he eventually did step down. Tribes that are toxic often can't see their bad behavior. I believe this group felt themselves so holy they were, in fact, experiencing what I call "group narcissism". You can read other posts I have on that phenomenon.

Patti Wood, MA - The Body Language Expert. For more body language insights go to her website at www.PattiWood.net. Check out Patti's website for her new book "SNAP, Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language and Charisma" at www.snapfirstimpressions.com.