5 Apology Languages Explained

by Tara Chandra

Have you ever struggled with finding the right way to say you’re sorry? Yes? Then let’s talk Apology Languages.

What is an Apology Language?

In the book, ‘The Five Languages of Apology’, Dr Gary Chapman & Jennifer Thomas defined the way we apologise into five Apology Languages.
 
An Apology Language is similar to Love Languages – expressing your preference for an apology. They test effective communication skills, emotional intelligence, and are used in romantic and platonic relationships, in the workplace, and even with strangers.

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By understanding your and your partner’s, friend’s, family’s, colleague’s apology language, you’ll be able to apologise in a way that is most meaningful to them.
 
It’s also important to note that most people will resonate with all of the Apology Languages – but generally, we all have our favourite way to apologise, or receive an apology.
 

What are the five Apology Languages?

  1. Expressing Regret

  2. Accepting Responsibility

  3. Making Restitution

  4. Genuinely Repenting

  5. Requesting Forgiveness

 

5 Apology Languages Explained

1. Expressing Regret

Acknowledging and admitting you hurt that person, in addition to expressing feelings of guilt, shame, sadness, and/ or pain about your actions.

For example, simply saying “I’m sorry I hurt you” or “I feel ashamed for how I hurt you” can be enough.

 

2. Accepting Responsibility

Accepting responsibility for your actions and directly pinpointing what you did wrong in your apology.

Instead of saying “I’m sorry I hurt you” – try “I’m sorry I did x, y, and z.”

 

3. Making Restitution

Acknowledging, justifying, and explaining your wrongdoing. The core of making restitution is showing the person you still love and care for them.

For example, you could say “I’m sorry I hurt you by saying/ doing x, y and z – I still love you even though it may not seem like it after what I did.” This can be followed by an action of love or care. 

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4. Genuinely Repenting

Sorry is not enough. You need to show this person that you will take action to change your behaviour to prevent future offences happening. It is important to show that you can grow from what they have done.

You should make this verbally and physically clear such as saying “I feel ashamed for how I hurt you – I will make sure I do x, y and z to make sure this doesn’t happen again.” Follow this apology by taking physical action and steps towards changing and growing from this situation.

 

5. Requesting Forgiveness

Before apologising, you must to give them time and space to process. In addition to saying “I’m sorry,” you need to request forgiveness to rid you of any guilt, and also risk rejection with your apology.

Try saying, “I’m sorry I hurt you. I feel horrible for what I did. I hope that you will consider making amends with me. I really value you and our relationship

 

 

 

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