What is an apology language? Dr. Gary Chapman (author of The Five Love Languages) created a book that explains and discusses the language of apologies to help us better connect with our partners/spouses/loved ones.
When I heard of this, I was totally intrigued because I do think we crave different apologies. For example, if someone says, ‘I’m sorry, but…” that can be TRIGGERING because it feels a justification rather than a legitimate apology. Or someone might say, ‘Do you forgive me?’ which I personally don’t think is necessary. Everyone has their own language that works for them. Curious? Take the test to find yours!
Understanding Your Results: Your apology languages (there’s five) will be listed from what you scored highest in, to what you scored lowest in. The first score (highest possible score is 20) is your primary apology language. But don’t discredit the others! Understanding each category can help you to understand what the people you love value.
If you scored high in this category, your apology language is clear and concise. You simply want your partner to say, ‘I’m sorry,’ (both verbally and with body language) and express regret at what they did (without justifying or making excuses).
Sometimes admitting wrongdoing is hard. We don’t want to look less-than-perfect, we don’t want to be judged, and we don’t want to feel like we’ve failed. But, the truth is, we’ll mess up sometimes and taking responsibility for those actions is very important.
If you scored high in this category, your apology language centers on your desire to hear the words, ‘I was wrong’—an affirmation that the person who hurt you does see the pain they’ve caused. That momentary weakness expressed by your partner helps you see their apology as truth.
This apology language is about wanting your partner to not only acknowledge that they hurt you and are sorry for doing so, but that they wish they could change or take back the action/behavior. Repentance is largely emotional, and shows that the person feels bad and wants to change—that’s the key element—the change in behavior, thought, or action.
If you scored high in this category, you want to see your partner acknowledge the ways he or she can modify behavior to avoid future conflict and pain. This is vulnerability and trust on both your ends.
This category is all about making things right. If this is where you scored highly, your apology language is about justification of one’s actions (meaning an explanation as to why), an affirmation of how things will get better/how deeply you are still loved by that person, and an action of healing. A simple ‘I’m sorry’ isn’t going to fix anything; it’s all about the sincerity behind those words and the action taken (perhaps best when aligned with the person’s love language), and assurance given to make things right again.
If you scored high in this category, your apology language is all about hearing the words, ‘Do you forgive me?’ To you, it’s important that your partner really expresses love in the form of wanting to be forgiven and start again. This can be tricky as there’s a fine line between requesting forgiveness and demanding it, but if you are open with your partner and explain how this process feels, you can have your relationship strengthened by each other’s rawness.