Tag Archives: language of apology

How Fluent are You in the Language of Apology?

You have probably heard of the five love languages, but are you familiar with the five languages of apology?[1] Here’s the basic idea: there are five components to a full apology. Many people find that one of those components is especially important to them. An apology with just that one key element is a satisfactory apology to them; but if that one key element is missing, then the apology feels incomplete to them.

Here are the five components of an apology:
1) Expressing Regret:  “I am sorry.”
2) Accepting Responsibility:  “I was wrong.”
3) Making Restitution: “How can I make this up to you?”
4) Genuinely Repenting: “I will try never to do that again.”
5) Requesting Forgiveness: “Will you please forgive me?”

Once you have determined your spouse’s language of apology, you will be able to apologize in ways that are meaningful to him or her.  If you fail to include that one key element, however, your apology will seem insincere or weak to your spouse.

Understanding that we have different languages of apology allows us to receive more graciously the apologies of others because we recognize that others may be sincere even when their style is different from our own.

“You cannot repent too soon, because you do not know how soon it may be too late.”  Thomas Fuller

“An apology is the super glue of life. It can repair just about anything.” Lynn Johnston

“Forgiveness is an act of the will, and the will can function regardless of the temperature of the heart.”  Corrie ten Boom

“Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.” Jesus, Matthew 5:7, NIV



[1] See The Five Languages of Apology by Jennifer Thomas and Gary Chapman.