You’ve probably heard of the Five Love Languages – a notion developed by Dr. Gary Chapman which explains why even if you and your partner speak the same language, you might have different ways that you each like to communicate your love. There’s Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Touch, Gifts, and Quality Time – check out Dr. Chapman’s website to learn more about your Love Language here.
But did you know that you probably have your own ‘Apology Language’ too? Differences in the way you prefer to give and receive apologies might be the reason your relationship wires get crossed and it can be hard to tell if your partner (son, daughter, mother, sister…) is truly sorry for something, or vice versa.
What are they?
Expressing Regret: When hearing the words “I’m sorry” from your partner is a critical aspect for your forgiveness because it helps you understand that they regret the impact of their actions on you
Accepting Responsibility: When you need to hear your partner own their behaviour that hurt you, as in “I was wrong to yell at you” or “I shouldn’t have said that it was stupid of me”
Making Restitution: When you can forgive your partner if they can properly reassure you that you are loved (in your love language) after they hurt or betrayed you
Genuinely Repenting: When you need assurances that your partner is making concrete steps to change and will try not to make the same mistake again
Requesting Forgiveness: When it’s easier to forgive when your partner requests that you free them of their guilt, putting themselves and the possibility of rejection on the line but also relinquishes for you your sense of justice or righteousness
Just as with our Love Language, we all have a preferred primary Apology Language – a way in which we can more readily understand and accept another’s remorse in order to wholly heal and move on. Learn to speak fluently the language of your partner’s apology needs and closeness and connection can once again flourish.
Which one is your Apology Language? Click here to take this quiz and find out.