The Five Apology Languages: When “I’m Sorry” Doesn’t Cut It

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Maybe you’ve heard of the love languages, the way we most need to receive love, but did you know that we each also have our own apology language? The way that you give and receive “I’m sorry” can make all the difference in whether you truly get past an argument or if you hold resentment until you explode. We each require to hear something different to move on, and sometimes “I’m sorry” just doesn’t cut it.

This language system was researched and developed by the same creator of the love languages Gary Chapman, with help from psychologist Jennifer Thomas. Here’s what they found out.

Expressing Regret

man hides his face with his hands covered in tattoos

Felopepelaquim / Unsplash

Felopepelaquim / Unsplash

The first apology language may seem like the most simple one, it’s just saying the words “I’m sorry” Yet, this is still difficult for some of us to do when we have to swallow our pride. We then allow the guilt to set in by admitting that we’re in the wrong.

The authors do suggest giving the apology some more value by also listing out our recognition of the hurtful effects of our actions. That way our words seem sincere and our “sorry” isn’t just a sorry that we got caught.