Why ‘sorry’ hurts


“Self-esteem and how we would like to be viewed by others in the world can be one of the strongest motivating factors in generating fear and conflict,” says Paul Randolph, Regent’s University London Psychology Lecturer and author of the new book ‘The Psychology of Conflict.’

The practical guide, which includes a foreword by Nobel Laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu, has been designed to give a better understanding of the psychological processes involved in conflict resolution and mediation. 

Paul states that psychology is seen as an increasingly vital tool for resolving conflicts in politics, peace negotiations, divorce, employment and the commercial sector.

He explains: “We all want to think well of ourselves and for others to think well of us. As a result self-esteem governs our daily decision-making and we expend huge amounts of energy on maintaining and protecting our self-image.

“When we talk about our feelings being ‘hurt,’ we acknowledge that any form of criticism or rejection can affect our self-esteem and be felt as physical pain. This is why we find it so difficult to admit fault or say ‘sorry.’

“There are always two sides who believe that their perception is the only truth, and that the other side are idiots and maniacs.”

Paul will be talking about these issues and more at the official launch of his book, being held alongside the ‘International Peace Summit: Resolving Conflicts through Mediation’ at 

Regent’s University London on Saturday 9 April, 2016.


  • Listen to Paul’s recent interview on NewsTalkFM
  • For further details on Conflict and Mediation education at Regent’s University London, please visit: /mediate