By Dr. Kevin Boully:
Donald Trump. Does not. Apologize. Even after a raft of behavior that would oblige many public figures to launch a multistage public apology campaign, Mr. Trump stands pat. Pundits and media members call for apologies after comments on a variety of subjects. Many criticize their absence as the clamor goes unanswered. Yet, we cannot deny the rebel appeal in rejecting a cultural norm, especially the now-normalized – researched, categorized, and prescribed – behavior of public apology. While rebellion is part of the appeal, some argue apology weakens a political position, and Mr. Trump is not alone. Comedian Tina Fey recently declared, “There’s a real culture of demanding apologies, and I’m opting out of that.” Alas, could this be the one and only thing that Donald Trump and Tina Fey share in common?
More seriously, have Americans’ expectations for apology become insufferable? Are demands for apologetic and corrective behavior insatiable? Does genuine apology still have a purpose, particularly in legal disputes? In this post I share two ways to use new research on effective apology in today’s culture so tired of meaningless apology by addressing the known, the new, and the what do you do.