Quantcast
Learning Your Apology Language Can Save Your Relationship
Shutterstock

Learning Your Apology Language Can Save Your Relationship

Repair and restore your love with the five apology languages.

Love & Relationships

After a disagreement, have you ever apologized to your partner, only to realize that things weren't completely resolved? It's probably because you were speaking a different language – a different apology language, that is. Many of us are very familiar withThe 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts, written by Dr. Gary Chapman, a popular relationship staple that categorizes the various ways couples love and communicate with each other (which includes words of affirmation, physical touch, gift-giving, acts of service, and quality time).


In The Five Languages of Apology (the updated version is calledWhen Sorry Isn't Enough), written by Chapman and Jennifer Thomas, we learn that expressing concern and regret in any relationship is just as important as demonstrating love and affection.

"It's important to learn your apology language, not only for the sake of yourself and having a deeper understanding of what you need," said Kiaundra Jackson, licensed family and marriage therapist and resident therapist on OWN's new hit show, Love Goals. "But it's also imperative to learn your partner's apology language too."

Relationships are all about reciprocity and having both parties work to make sure that their relationship is in a healthy spot, Jackson said. When you learn your partner's apology language, you can cut down on any excess drama that may happen when someone feels misunderstood, unloved or neglected.

The five apology languages are expressing regret, accepting responsibility, making restitution, genuinely repenting, and requesting forgiveness. In order to explore each of these apology languages more in-depth, keep reading for the meaning and an example of what each apology language looks like.

Check them out below!

1.Expressing Regret Apology Language:

The key to this apology language is to address the emotional damage that someone has experienced due to wrongdoing. Expressing regret and remorse is an essential part of any apology – especially when feelings have been hurt. "It's important to apologize when things go wrong," Jackson said. "It puts you in a place where you can comprehend what your partner is saying and can help you understand how to avoid certain situations moving forward."

An example of this apology language is, "I'm sorry I hurt you."

2.Accepting Responsibility Apology Language:

This apology language requires an admission of responsibility from the person who committed the offense. "I think this is a fundamental way to receive an apology," Jackson said. "It's important for your partner to take responsibility because it shows a deep level of self-awareness and the work that they've done within themselves."

An example of this apology language is, "I'm sorry I yelled at you earlier. I was wrong."

3.Making Restitution Apology Language:

Sometimes expressing regret and taking responsibility isn't enough – in some instances, partners might prefer to receive restitution. "For someone whose apology language is making restitution, their partner would have to start with offering some sort of make-up process," Jackson said. The make-up process should directly correlate with your partner's love language – for example, if their love language is acts of service, one way that you could express love and restitution, is to do something kind or mindful for your partner.

An example of this apology language is, "What can I do to make this up to you?"

4.Genuinely Repenting Apology Language:

Depending on the severity of the transgression, a sincere apology requires that the person verbalizes their commitment to avoiding repeated behavior. Not only does this apology language demand a genuine "I'm sorry", but it also includes a commitment to change. "It's important to say that you're going to change your behavior in a tangible way," Jackson said. "And ultimately, you can't just say it, you have to do it."

True repentance takes an extra step towards change, and an example of this apology language is, "I know what I did was wrong, and I won't do it again."

5.Requesting Forgiveness Apology Language: 

Sometimes, people want to hear their partners ask for forgiveness and while this can be the most difficult element of an apology, for many people, it can also be the most significant. While the wrongdoer is responsible for apologizing, the power of forgiveness ultimately lays in the hands of the offended. Before accepting a partner's apology, however, Jackson recommends taking a moment to process all of the circumstances.

"We know that forgiveness is an internal job," she said. "When forgiveness is requested too early and the person hasn't thought about what they need to forgive the other person for and how they're going to make that amendment within themselves, it can turn out to be a less-than-ideal situation."

Now that you're fluent in all of the languages of atonement, which one best fits your style? Click here to find out!

Featured image by Shutterstock

Originally published on March 23, 2020.

If You're Not Skin Cycling Already, Here's Why You Should

Another day, another TikTok trend that's all the rage. Many TikTok trends are gimmicks without any scientific backing. Or, in the case of the NyQuil chicken trend that took off, just plain dangerous. However, one has bubbled up to the surface that is worth investigating. Enter: skin cycling.

Keep reading...Show less
The daily empowerment fix you need.
Make things inbox official.
How Yoga Helped Peloton's Dr. Chelsea Jackson Roberts Heal From Past Traumas

Since her Peloton debut in May of 2020, Chelsea Jackson Roberts, Ph.D., has become one of the most sought-after yoga instructors on the app. Using a mixture of hip-hop, R&B, classical, gospel, house, and funk-themed classes, the Dayton, OH native guides Peloton users across the globe, in the weekly practice of feeling connected with the body and the breath as they “root down and rise up.” With many leaving her classes feeling more grounded and anchored than they were when they started, it’s easy to see how the former Lululemon Global Ambassador and two-time Yoga Journal cover star has made such an impact. While her background as a third-grade school teacher and founder of Yoga, Literature, and Art Camp lends to her influence, her journey to becoming a world-renowned celebrity yoga instructor was not met without tragedy.

Keep reading...Show less
Your October 2022 Horoscopes Are All About Finding Flow & Alignment

October is a month of balance. With some energy moving direct and some energy moving retrograde, there is a middle ground to find this month between what is unfolding and what you are letting go. The month begins with Mercury officially moving out of retrograde and going direct in Virgo. Mercury this month is cleaning house and sprucing things up after the somewhat tyrant energy it’s brought over the past few weeks. Now that Mercury is direct, there is less interruption when it comes to daily flow and plans, and this is a good month to start setting things into motion.

Keep reading...Show less
The Myth Of The Sex Drive & How Libido Changes From Your 20s, 30s, 40s & 50s

No one prepared me for how horny I would be in my late 30s. All the elders in my life prepared me for random chin hairs, weight gain, and menopause but no one said a mumbling word about my sex drive. Something happens the closer you get to forty. I went from wanting sex here and there to wanting it all the damn time. Is there a support group for this? I can’t be the only one who has the sex drive of the Energizer Bunny. Upon my research to figure out why I felt like a cat in heat, I discovered several theories surrounding women and our sex drives–including one that says the concept of having a sex drive is a myth altogether.

Keep reading...Show less
Exclusive: Da’Vinchi On Protecting His Peace & Why He Prioritizes Mindset Over Looks In Dating

Da’Vinchi has appeared in many television series such as All American and Grown-ish but it was his role in BMF as Terry Flenory that helped propel his career forward. Since starring in BMF, he made his Broadway debut with Thoughts of a Colored Man and is currently shooting an undisclosed movie in Vancouver. The 26-year-old actor is beginning to see the fruits of his labor and so it’s hard to imagine that he almost went in a different direction. Da’Vinchi spoke with xoNecole’s Dana Blair for our xoMan series about acting, being a sapiosexual, and protecting his peace.

Keep reading...Show less
Exclusive Interviews
Latest Posts