Apparently there are five apology languages – here’s what they are and what they mean

They’re like the love languages

So you already know your love language, but something that’s just as important in your relationships is how you apologise – do you just want a simple “I’m sorry”? Do you want a gift to make it up to you, or do you think actions speak louder than words and they need to prove to you they’ll change? Knowing which of the apology languages you are might help your love life run a whole lot smoother.

The five apology languages are outlined in a book by Gary Chapman – the same guy who wrote about the five love languages. They’re all about how you apologise, how you show and tell people that you’re sorry. Obviously, they’re super important in any relationship – otherwise you’d never move past even the tiniest disagreement.

But what are the five apology languages, and which one do I have? What do they actually mean? Here’s everything you need to know.

These are the five apology languages:

Expressing regret

Expressing regret is about realising the emotional hurt you have caused, and apologising for making the other person feel like this. An “I’m sorry” from the heart is all you want – you don’t need someone to explain or try and justify what they’re saying.

apology languages

Accepting responsibility

Accepting responsibility is all about admitting you’re wrong and have made a mistake. You will sometimes make mistakes, but you have to accept responsibility for doing so. For you, “I was wrong” feels like more of a meaningful and sincere apology than just “I’m sorry”.

Making restitution

Restitution essentially means compensation – so you think that if someone does something wrong, they should apologise with actions to actually justify and back up what they’re saying. You want people to say “I’m sorry, and this is how I’ll make it up to you” – whether by buying you a gift, doing something nice for you, or anything else to show you they care about you.

apology languages

Requesting forgiveness

Requesting forgiveness is all about, well, asking the person to forgive you. Does what it says on the tin, really. Saying “will you forgive me?” as part of an apology shows the other person you realise you’ve done something wrong and are sorry for it.

Genuinely repent

Repenting is about showing you want to change and will behave differently in the future. An important part of this apology is saying this and how you’ll be different – “next time, I won’t do this but I’ll do this instead”.

You can find out your apology language here.

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