5 Apology Languages
Another proof people are so difficult. I was begging my mother in law for forgiveness and she still ignores me which makes me even angrier. Recently saw this online and realise how difficult it is to even ask for an apology. Why are people so difficult! Sigh I’m just pasting this here as a reminder for myself and for whoever who thinks saying sorry is enough is actually not enough because they speak a totally different language altogether.
What Are the 5 Apology Languages?
1. Expressing Regret
Dr. Thomas says: “Say, ‘I am sorry.’ List the hurtful effects of your action. Show remorse. It doesn’t count if someone is only sorry that they got caught!”
Think of this first language as Apologies 101. A genuine ‘I’m sorry’ is essential to an effective apology—emphasis on genuine. Even though this simple two-word phrase seems like a no-brainer, you’d be surprised how many people struggle to swallow their pride and express remorse.
2. Accepting Responsibility
Dr. Thomas says: “Say, ‘I was wrong.’ Name your mistake and accept fault. Note that it is easier to say, ‘You are right’ than ‘I am wrong,’ but the latter carries more weight.”
If saying sorry is the first step, admitting wrongdoing is the second. It’s one thing to express remorse, but saying ‘I was wrong,’ shows that you’re accepting responsibility for your actions and how they made another person feel.
3. Make Restitution
Dr. Thomas says: “Ask, ‘How can I make it right?’ How are they now? Is any debt owed or repayment due? Say, “I want to make amends to you.”
Making restitution means committing to finding a way to correcting what you did wrong. Letting someone know that you want to make it up to them shows that you care enough to try to change or make amends. Note that restitution is most common in situations where a physical item has been lost or damaged (i.e., “I’m so sorry I broke the necklace you loaned to me, I ordered you a replacement.”)
4. Genuinely Repent
Dr. Thomas says: “Say, ‘I’m going to change, and here is how I will do it…’ Repentance literally means turning around 180 degrees. Engage in problem-solving. Don’t make excuses. Make a better, specific plan for change.”
If restitution typically involves physical things, repenting is a bit more abstract. This is about problem-solving—opening up a dialogue so you can create a path forward and concrete plans to make sure you’re changing for the better.
5. Request Forgiveness
Dr. Thomas says: “Ask, ‘Can you find it in your heart to forgive me?’ Be patient in seeking forgiveness and reconciliation. The other person may need the gift of time.”
It can be super easy to say you’re sorry and move on, assuming that the other party immediately accepts your apology. Those whose apology language is requesting forgiveness are sensitive to the idea that sometimes, “I’m sorry” isn’t enough, and that genuine forgiveness takes time.
Edited by Depressedgurl007