5 Languages of Apology

I hear a lot about Gary Chapman’s Five Love Languages and I believe this book is very helpful. But Dr. Chapman (along with co-author, Jennifer Thomas) also wrote The Five Languages of Apology and understanding these five are equally as practical and necessary, yet they often overlooked.

Gary Chapman’s 5 Apology Languages:

  1. Language #1: Expressing Regret or “I am sorry.”
  2. Language #2: Accepting Responsibility or “I was wrong.”
  3. Language #3: Making Restitution or “What can I do to make it right?”
  4. Language #4: Genuinely Repenting or “I’ll try not to do that again.”
  5. Language #5: Requesting Forgiveness or “Will you please forgive me?”

When I’m hurt, it’s as if a huge chasm develops between me and my husband. So what my husband says to me in his apology is very important to bridge the divide. It helps me to drop my guard and gives me the desire to move closer to him once again.

My husband can get angry very quickly, but he’s also very quick to apologize. His emotional responses move at lightning speed compared to mine—being slower to get angry and, unfortunately, slower to apologize. So when my hubby apologizes I’m always wondering if he’s really sincere, because it seems impossible for me to “get there”—to jump that chasm—as fast as he has. I need specific words or actions that remove my doubts.

You probably have a preference for what you need to hear in order to move more quickly toward embracing your spouse’s apology as well.

Additional questions to help clarify what your language is:

  • What do I expect the person to do or say?
  • What hurts most deeply about this situation? (What do you want to receive from your offender?)
  • What language is most important when I apologize?

You might want to hear more than one of the Apology Languages to feel satisfied. I know, I do. I appreciate hearing Language #2 “Expressing Regret” and Language #3 “Making Restitution” when someone, especially my spouse, apologizes.

If you are able to express and hear the appropriate apology language being spoken, you and your spouse will more quickly move toward healing your wounds and regaining emotional closeness—bridging that gap caused by the offense. Consider getting the book and discussing this important aspect of good communication with your spouse today!

“He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy.” Proverbs 28:13


 

What about you? Which of the languages do you feel you most need to hear?

 

What makes that language important to you?

 


Here are some lovely linkups I join – Inspire Me MondayLiterary Musing MondaysPurposeful Faith, Tell His StoryInstaEncouragements LinkupRecharge WednesdayWorth Beyond Rubies WednesdayTune in ThursdayHeart EncouragementGrace and Truth, and  Faith on Fire Friday.

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34 responses to “5 Languages of Apology”

  1. Hey Beth – I was so excited to see your review of The Five Languages of Apology because I met and interviewed his co-author Dr. Jennifer Thomas last spring …

    http://creeksideministries.blogspot.com/2012/02/talking-with-dr-jen.html
    And any of those Five Languages books are really fabulous!

    Like

    1. Ladies, thank you both for your blogs about my work on apologies with Gary Chapman. You and your readers can learn about our latest project at http://www.drjenthomas.com. I also have a sign-up link there for my free monthly relationship advice e-newsletter.

      Like

  2. Hey Beth – I was so excited to see your review of The Five Languages of Apology because I met and interviewed his co-author Dr. Jennifer Thomas last spring …http://creeksideministries.blogspot.com/2012/02/talking-with-dr-jen.htmlAnd any of those Five Languages books are really fabulous!

    Like

  3. I really like this list of apology languages. I’ve never heard them so concisely and logically organized. I suppose the one that is most important to me is “I was wrong,” because I really hate an apology with an excuse attached. But each type of apology is important, depending on the situation. Sometimes I extend #4 and ask my husband to pray for me in the area where I’ve sinned.
    Thanks for sharing these.

    Like

  4. I really like this list of apology languages. I’ve never heard them so concisely and logically organized. I suppose the one that is most important to me is “I was wrong,” because I really hate an apology with an excuse attached. But each type of apology is important, depending on the situation. Sometimes I extend #4 and ask my husband to pray for me in the area where I’ve sinned. Thanks for sharing these.

    Like

  5. Beth, I haven’t read the book yet. it looks like a great book!

    I’m quick to speak # 1, and often want to skip #2. In my marriage am the one with swifter emotions..it’s so true, quick apologies leave the even tempered spouse suspicious. Mine gets irritated as well : ) It’s taken time (and we are still learning) to begin to learn each others hearts. thanks for these, I enjoy reading and growing from these “nuts & bolts” insights so much. blessings!

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  6. Beth, I haven’t read the book yet. it looks like a great book! I’m quick to speak # 1, and often want to skip #2. In my marriage am the one with swifter emotions..it’s so true, quick apologies leave the even tempered spouse suspicious. Mine gets irritated as well : ) It’s taken time (and we are still learning) to begin to learn each others hearts. thanks for these, I enjoy your “nuts & bolts” insights so much. blessings!

    Like

  7. Delighted to stumble over tonight. Splashing around and loving every minute. This looks like a refreshing place to dip my toes into some serious goodness.

    Marriage can get messy at times. Beautifully messy. I will be back.

    Splashing,

    Sarah

    http://www.justsarahdawn.blogspot.com

    Like

  8. Delighted to stumble over tonight. Splashing around and loving every minute. This looks like a refreshing place to dip my toes into some serious goodness. Marriage can get messy at times. Beautifully messy. I will be back.Splashing,Sarahwww.justsarahdawn.blogspot.com

    Like

  9. I know that huge chasm — and I HATE it! These are great ideas, Beth. The book looks great.

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  10. I know that huge chasm — and I HATE it! These are great ideas, Beth. The book looks great.

    Like

  11. I have never read either of those books. But I love how he lays out those five steps of an apology. I notice there’s no 6th step for justification, lol!

    Don’t we always want to say “I’m sorry, but YOU did such and such?” There’s no “I’m sorry BUT…..” and it’s hard to admit that! 😉

    One of our sons especially struggled with wanting you to understand his reasoning behind whatever decisions he made when he was younger.

    It always sounded like he was defending his actions when he was really trying to explain them and we kept having to explain the whole “I’m sorry” process, lol!

    Thanks so much for hosting today!

    Like

  12. I have never read either of those books. But I love how he lays out those five steps of an apology. I notice there’s no 6th step for justification, lol!Don’t we always want to say “I’m sorry, but YOU did such and such?” There’s no “I’m sorry BUT…..” and it’s hard to admit that! ;)One of our sons especially struggled with wanting you to understand his reasoning behind whatever decisions he made when he was younger.It always sounded like he was defending his actions when he was really trying to explain them and we kept having to explain the whole “I’m sorry” process, lol!Thanks so much for hosting today!

    Like

  13. I forgot to ask you, where do you get your lovely photos? What site do you use? Thanks!

    Like

  14. I forgot to ask you, where do you get your lovely photos? What site do you use? Thanks!

    Like

  15. I haven’t found a Gary Chapman book I didn’t like. I tout his book, Now You’re Speaking My Language, all the time. SImple, concise, and true to life examples and not full of psychobabble.

    Our personal languages for EVERYTHING make such a difference in how we communicate everything in life. You don’t have to have English as your second language to lack the ability to communicate effectively — it’s usually our own personal language that bogs us down!

    Like

  16. I haven’t found a Gary Chapman book I didn’t like. I tout his book, Now You’re Speaking My Language, all the time. SImple, concise, and true to life examples and not full of psychobabble.Our personal languages for EVERYTHING make such a difference in how we communicate everything in life. You don’t have to have English as your second language to lack the ability to communicate effectively — it’s usually our own personal language that bogs us down!

    Like

  17. Marriages blossom and grow as we sow generous forgiveness!! Love this post- so often we get tangled up, mean well, but miss the richness of taking responsibility for the hurt we’ve caused, then seeking forgiveness. There’s little as intimate!! Thank you for sharing this, Beth!!

    Like

  18. Marriages blossom and grow as we sow generous forgiveness!! Love this post- so often we get tangled up, mean well, but miss the richness of taking responsibility for the hurt we’ve caused, then seeking forgiveness. There’s little as intimate!! Thank you for sharing this, Beth!!

    Like

  19. Ah yes, the art of the apology! So necessary in all aspects of life. Thanks for sharing what you have learned and how it is helping you.

    Megan

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  20. Ah yes, the art of the apology! So necessary in all aspects of life. Thanks for sharing what you have learned and how it is helping you. Megan

    Like

  21. That is such a neat idea! I have never thought of it that way before. I think lack of communication in that area could be a big part of why I don’t feel like my husband really “gets it” when he apologizes. Thanks!

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  22. That is such a neat idea! I have never thought of it that way before. I think lack of communication in that area could be a big part of why I don’t feel like my husband really “gets it” when he apologizes. Thanks!

    Like

  23. We just had this discussion. My husband expects me to move on as quickly as he does after an argument.

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  24. We just had this discussion. My husband expects me to move on as quickly as he does after an argument.

    Like

  25. Beth once more you and I are on the same page! I love the love languages! Thanks so much for your linkup.

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  26. Beth once more you and I are on the same page! I love the love languages! Thanks so much for your linkup.

    Like

  27. I’ve learned to stop stewing and start praying for God to soften my husband’s heart toward an apology. Amazing, it actually works. God is real and trustworthy. Why did it take me the first decade of marriage to figure this out in regard to apologies?

    Like

  28. I’ve learned to stop stewing and start praying for God to soften my husband’s heart toward an apology. Amazing, it actually works. God is real and trustworthy. Why did it take me the first decade of marriage to figure this out in regard to apologies?

    Like

  29. Dear Beth
    My husband also gets angry very quickly. But it takes ages to get me angry. I seldom get angry and for that I am grateful. I think it is because I have learned to put healthy boundaries around myself. My husband never apologizes, BUT his sorrow is expressed in his whole attitude and the way he treats me afterwards. To me that counts much more than words. I am sorry to hear that you are also often misunderstood about your RA! I know it is so hard.
    God bless you, Beth.
    Mia

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  30. Dear BethMy husband also gets angry very quickly. But it takes ages to get me angry. I seldom get angry and for that I am grateful. I think it is because I have learned to put healthy boundaries around myself. My husband never apologizes, BUT his sorrow is expressed in his whole attitude and the way he treats me afterwards. To me that counts much more than words. I am sorry to hear that you are also often misunderstood about your RA! I know it is so hard.God bless you, Beth.Mia

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  31. “When I’m hurt, it’s as if a huge chasm develops between me and my husband.” That is so true of me. I can sometimes have a quick temper, but it often takes me awhile to cool off. I need space to think through things and figure out (rationally) what I need and what most deeply offended me. My husband very slowly gets upset, and rarely gets angry (to the point where he has to leave), but he’s so quick to forgive and want to make up. To me this is seemingly impossible at times.

    I think the I’m sorry and asking forgiveness part is easy to say, but it’s harder to actually do. For me, the most important thing for my husband to do is accepting responsibility and making restitution. But I’m curious what he’d say is most important for me to do. I’m definitely going to bring this up – great conversation starter.

    Thanks for sharing, Beth. And thanks for linking up with Becoming His Eve Marriage Moments Mondays.

    Like

  32. “When I’m hurt, it’s as if a huge chasm develops between me and my husband.” That is so true of me. I can sometimes have a quick temper, but it often takes me awhile to cool off. I need space to think through things and figure out (rationally) what I need and what most deeply offended me. My husband very slowly gets upset, and rarely gets angry (to the point where he has to leave), but he’s so quick to forgive and want to make up. To me this is seemingly impossible at times.I think the I’m sorry and asking forgiveness part is easy to say, but it’s harder to actually do. For me, the most important thing for my husband to do is accepting responsibility and making restitution. But I’m curious what he’d say is most important for me to do. I’m definitely going to bring this up – great conversation starter. Thanks for sharing, Beth. And thanks for linking up with Becoming His Eve Marriage Moments Mondays.

    Like

  33. Ladies, thank you both for your blogs about my work on apologies with Gary Chapman. You and your readers can learn about our latest project at http://www.drjenthomas.com. I also have a sign-up link there for my free monthly relationship advice e-newsletter.

    Like

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