Quantcast
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.

Queen Latifah is saying no to unhealthy and dangerous lifestyles especially when it comes to her career. Since the beginning, the rapper/actress has always been a body-positive role model thanks to the range of characters she has played over the years that shows that size doesn’t matter. In an interview with PEOPLE, The Equalizer star opened up about taking on roles that don't compromise her health.

Keep reading...Show less
The daily empowerment fix you need.
Make things inbox official.

When I was ten, my Sunday school teacher put on a brief performance in class that included some of the boys standing in front of the classroom while she stood in front of them holding a heart shaped box of chocolate. One by one, she tells each boy to come and bite a piece of candy and then place the remainder back into the box. After the last boy, she gave the box of now mangled chocolate over to the other Sunday school teacher — who happened to be her real husband — who made a comically puzzled face. She told us that the lesson to be gleaned from this was that if you give your heart away to too many people, once you find “the one,” that your heart would be too damaged. The lesson wasn’t explicitly about sex but the implication was clearly present.

That memory came back to me after a flier went viral last week, advertising an abstinence event titled The Close Your Legs Tour with the specific target demo of teen girls came across my Twitter timeline. The event was met with derision online. Writer, artist, and professor Ashon Crawley said: “We have to refuse shame. it is not yours to hold. legs open or not.” Writer and theologian Candice Marie Benbow said on her Twitter: “Any event where 12-17-year-old girls are being told to ‘keep their legs closed’ is a space where purity culture is being reinforced.”

“Purity culture,” as Benbow referenced, is a culture that teaches primarily girls and women that their value is to be found in their ability to stay chaste and “pure”–as in, non-sexual–for both God and their future husbands.

I grew up in an explicitly evangelical house and church, where I was taught virginity was the best gift a girl can hold on to until she got married. I fortunately never wore a purity ring or had a ceremony where I promised my father I wouldn’t have pre-marital sex. I certainly never even thought of having my hymen examined and the certificate handed over to my father on my wedding day as “proof” that I kept my promise. But the culture was always present. A few years after that chocolate-flavored indoctrination, I was introduced to the fabled car anecdote. “Boys don’t like girls who have been test-driven,” as it goes.

And I believed it for a long time. That to be loved and to be desired by men, it was only right for me to deny myself my own basic human desires, in the hopes of one day meeting a man that would fill all of my fantasies — romantically and sexually. Even if it meant denying my queerness, or even if it meant ignoring how being the only Black and fat girl in a predominantly white Christian space often had me watch all the white girls have their first boyfriends while I didn’t. Something they don’t tell you about purity culture – and that it took me years to learn and unlearn myself – is that there are bodies that are deemed inherently sinful and vulgar. That purity is about the desire to see girls and women shrink themselves, make themselves meek for men.

Purity culture isn’t unlike rape culture which tells young girls in so many ways that their worth can only be found through their bodies. Whether it be through promiscuity or chastity, young girls are instructed on what to do with their bodies before they’ve had time to figure themselves out, separate from a patriarchal lens. That their needs are secondary to that of the men and boys in their lives.

It took me a while —after leaving the church and unlearning the toxic ideals around purity culture rooted in anti-Blackness, fatphobia, heteropatriarchy, and queerphobia — to embrace my body, my sexuality, and my queerness as something that was not only not sinful or dirty, but actually in line with the vision God has over my life. Our bodies don't stop being our temples depending on who we do or who we don’t let in, and our worth isn’t dependent on the width of our legs at any given point.

Let’s make things inbox official! Sign up for the xoNecole newsletter for daily love, wellness, career, and exclusive content delivered straight to your inbox.

Featured image by Getty Images

Jamie Foxx and his daughter Corinne Foxx are one of Hollywood’s best father-daughter duos. They’ve teamed up together on several projects including Foxx’s game show Beat Shazam where they both serve as executive producers and often frequent red carpets together. Corinne even followed in her father’s footsteps by taking his professional last name and venturing into acting starring in 47 Meters Down: Uncaged and Live in Front of a Studio Audience: All in the Family and Good Times as Thelma.

Keep reading...Show less

TW: This article may contain mentions of suicide and self-harm.

In early 2022, the world felt like it slowed down a bit as people digested the shocking news of beauty pageant queen Cheslie Kryst, who died by suicide. When you scroll through her Instagram, the photos she had posted only weeks before her death were images of her smiling, looking happy, and being carefree. You can see photos of her working, being in front of the camera, and doing what I imagine was her norm. These pictures and videos, however, began to spark a conversation among Black women who knew too well that feeling like you're carrying the world on your shoulders and forcing yourself to smile through it all to hide the pain.

Keep reading...Show less

Ironically enough—considering the way the word begins—the love-hate relationship that we have with menstruation is comparable to the way in which we navigate the world of men. It’s very much “can’t live with it, can’t live without it” vibes when it comes to women and their cycles. But the older I get, the more I learn to hate that time of the month a little less. A lot of my learning to embrace my period has come with learning the fun, interesting, and “witchy” stuff while discovering more natural, in-tune ways of minimizing the pain in my ass (those cramps know no bounds) amongst other places.

Keep reading...Show less
Exclusive Interviews
Latest Posts