Apology languages are the different styles of communication people use when making an apology.

Apology languages are the different styles of communication people use when making an apology. You may use more than one apology language in your life. It can be beneficial to explore what apology languages you and loved ones use to better understand each other during conflict resolution.

 

In 2013, Dr. Gary Chapman (Ph.D) and psychologist Dr. Jennifer Thomas (Ph.D) published abook entitled The Five Languages of Apology.

They outlined five different apology languages which are expressing regret, accepting responsibility, making restitution, genuinely repenting, and expressing forgiveness.

  1. Expressing Regret: People that use this apology language address the hurtful effects that someone has experienced as a result of their actions. They express regret and remorse to demonstrate that they are sorry. It is possible that this is your preferred apology language if you want to feel validated in your emotions during conflict resolution.
  2. Accepting Responsibility: People that use this apology language admit that it was wrong for them to have acted in a way that hurt someone. They show self-awareness by acknowledging their fault in a situation. It is possible that this is your preferred apology language if you want someone to clearly state what they did wrong to demonstrate that they can learn from a mistake.
  3. Making Restitution: People that use this apology language seek ways to correct a situation. They offer a solution in order to make it up to the person that they hurt. It is possible that this is your preferred apology language if you find it important for someone who hurts you to make things right again through action.
  4. Genuinely Repenting: People that use this apology language acknowledge their commitment to avoid repeating a hurtful behaviour. They express that they are sorry and take it a step further to show that they will change their behaviour to avoid hurting someone again. It is possible that this is your preferred apology language if you need assurance that you won’t be let down.
  5. Expressing Forgiveness: People that use this apology language give the person that they have hurt time to process their actions before assuming that everything is back to normal. They place power back into the hands of the person that they hurt so that they may forgive them. It is possible that this is your preferred apology language if you need some time to yourself before reconciling.

It is possible to combine multiple of these into one apology in order to always get your apology across in a way in which the receiver appreciates the gesture. But remember, that doesn’t mean they have to forgive you!

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