What does sorry mean to you? Do you know there are five apology languages just the same way we have five love languages? Specifically, being sorry is not just about what you say. Instead, how you say it and what you do afterwards matters a whole lot.
Apologies Are Not The Same!
Yes, you read that right! How do you apologize when you are at fault? Do you say “I’m sorry”? Do you tell them you are aware of how hurt they might be because of your actions? Do you ask for forgiveness? Do you promise not to repeat such ever again? Whichever way you say it, you’ve apologized. However, it is necessary for you to identify yours out of the five apology languages.
The Five Apology Languages
Firstly, know that all the five apology languages are important. In fact, none is more important than the other. Also, you are likely to have more than one apology language.
The languages of apology are as follow:
(1) Expressing Regret
The first apology language is “Expressing Regret”. This focuses on the emotional hurt you have experienced from the actions or behaviours of the other person. If this is your apology language, then a genuine “I’m sorry” goes a very long way for you.
When an individual is expressing regret, you feel that he/she is actually expressing the guilt and shame felt for hurting you.
In fact, all you are looking for is the person who hurt you to own up to their mistakes.
(2) Accepting Responsibility
This requires the person apologizing to admit he/she is wrong, as well as accept responsibility for their wrongdoing. Truly, it is very difficult as humans to admit to mistakes made, especially if those mistakes have hurt someone else. However, if this is your apology language, you are looking for a genuine apology that accepts responsibility and does not attempt to make excuses or justifications. For an apology to feel genuine, you need the other person to simply say “I am wrong,” without further explanation.
(3) Genuine Repentance
Genuine repentance is the third apology language and it focuses on how the person apologizing will modify their behavior in future similar situations. Not only is there a genuine apology for the pain caused, but also verbalization for the desire to change. Nevertheless, genuine repentance takes an extra step towards change, as you need to hear the person express they want to change and set realistic goals for how they will make those changes. Unlike expressing regret, you ARE looking for that “next step” and how your partner will ensure this does not happen again.
(4) Requesting Forgiveness
This apology language is all about asking for forgiveness and giving your partner space to decide if they forgive you. If “Requesting Forgiveness” is your love language, it is meaningful to you for your partner to actually ask for your forgiveness. Requesting forgiveness is much different than demanding forgiveness. The key to requesting forgiveness is to allow the hurt partner to make the final decision, rather than force it upon them. By demanding forgiveness, you are taking away the sincerity if forgiveness is given.
(5) Making Restitution
Making restitution requires explanation for the person’s wrongdoing. For this apology language, all you want to hear from your partner is that they still love you, even after feeling hurt. Notably, there are many ways to make restitution. To feel loved after an apology, your partner must meet your love language to make restitution. Most importantly, you are looking for assurance that your partner still loves and cares for you.
For you to enjoy a great relationship with your partner, as well as friends and colleagues, it is necessary for you find out your exact love language. Take this five apology languages test