How to Tap into Your Apology Language and Use it to Make Your Relationships Stronger
You likely heard of the five love languages, but turns out there are different apology languages too. Which one is yours? How you apologize plays a huge role with where your relationships go from there.
So here’s what you need to know to make amends, repair and restore what you’ve damaged.
Common thread in every apologyOne of the key lessons children are taught in school as part of their character development involves knowing to say sorry when they’ve done something wrong. However, it’s one thing to simply say “sorry” and move on, and a whole other thing to actually repair the damage done. For this reason, it’s important to understand the magnitude of your damage. After all, when you break your friend’s plate, does saying sorry magically put it back together? Similarly, meaningful apologies are anything but simple, and whenever possible, should be done in-person.
Here is a breakdown of the five apology languages, so you can see which one resonates most with you.
RELATED: Should your lover be your best friend?.
The five apology languagesAccording to Dr. Gary Chapman and Jennifer Thomas, just as with the love languages, there are different apology styles, and it can be helpful to know and understand which one resonates most with you.
SEE ALSO: Secrets you should never hide from your partner (and some you should).
Accepting responsibilityIn this style, you focus on taking ownership of your impact on another person, much as with the first slide. But you also dive deeper, and consider how you might have handled the situation better. Accepting responsibility means you aren’t using distancing language that removes you from the wrong, by using minimizing language such as, “I’m sorry you feel this way.”
SEE ALSO: Quarantine partners: how to avoid breaking up during stressful times.
Accepting responsibility: What you might say“I am sorry I let you down and didn’t handle this as well as I should have. I’ve picked up some unhealthy coping mechanisms over the years, and need to find healthier outlets to deal with my issues.”
RELATED: 13 signs you have a victim mentality.
Expressing regretWith this apology style, you are focusing on your remorse by emphasizing words such as “I am sorry”.
SEE ALSO: Meghan Markle and the struggle among black women everywhere.
Expressing regret: What you might say“I am sorry. I wish I handled that differently, and didn’t drink as much as I did at your birthday.”
RELATED: 15 ways to keep your friendships healthy and thriving.
Making restitutionIn this style, you focus on making amends to the injured person. You consider how they’ve been wronged, and planned steps for what you can do now to make it up to them.
SEE ALSO: 10 signs you’re emotionally intelligent (and 5 signs you’re not).
Making restitution: What you might say“I am sorry I ruined your special night. Please let me make it up to you by taking you out for dinner.”
RELATED: 10 accidental microaggressions you might be making everyday.
Genuinely repentingIn this apology style, you recognize your changed behaviour towards the aggrieved person. You focus on communicating how you’ve changed, and why the problematic behaviour won’t happen again.
YOU MAY ALSO LIKE: The 20 most generous celebs during COVID.
Genuinely repenting: What you might say“I’ve given a lot of thought to my choices that night, and see why what I did was wrong. That was really hurtful and shitty of me. I would like another chance at our friendship, if you’d give me the opportunity.”
YOU MAY ALSO LIKE: How to trust and be trusted in a relationship.
Requesting forgivenessThis style focuses on acknowledging that there has been an unfair shift in the power dynamics of your relationship (by your wrongdoing), and that you are now ceding this power by recognizing forgiveness for your wrong lies with the wronged party.
SEE ALSO: 10 things cheaters always say, relationship therapist shares.
Requesting forgiveness: What you might say“I am sorry for the way I behaved that night. Nothing excuses what I did, but can you find it in your heart to forgive me?”
YOU MAY ALSO LIKE: How to set healthy boundaries with your mom.