Gary Chapman – Five Ways to Apologize

Ways to Apologize

Gary chapman gives us simple yet unique ways to apologize to co-workers or loved ones in his powerful book and CD- “The five languages of apology”.  Gary Chapman provides expert advise on arguing, apologizing and forgiving.

What most people want to know when you apologize is “are you sincere?” However, they judge your sincerity by whether or not you are speaking your apology in their primary apology language. When you do then they sense your real sincerity. When co-workers/couples/friends/ learn to apologize in a way that is meaningful to each other, they make forgiveness much easier.  It is important to know the different ways to apologize so you can help you resolve the conflict much faster.  The summary of the apology language chapter is as follows:

1. Expressing regret: This apology language is an emotional language – it seeks to express to the other person that you feel pain that with your words or behavior you hurt them deeply. If the person you are apologizing to has this language what they want to know is: “Do you understand how deeply your behavior has hurt me?” Anything less will seem empty to them. You need to say you are sorry and what specifically you are sorry for. 

2. Accepting responsibility: This apology begins with the words “I was wrong” and goes on to explain what was wrong with your behavior. If the person you apologize to has this apology language they are waiting to hear you admit that your behavior was wrong. For them saying “I’m sorry” will never sound like an apology. They want you to accept responsibility for what you did or said and acknowledge that it was wrong.

3. Making restitution: This apology language seeks to “make it right.” If this is the persons primary apology language what they really want to know is “do you still love me?”Your behavior seemed so unloving to them that they wonder how you could love them and do what you did. What they request of you to make up for your mistake etc., will likely be in tune with their primary love language e.g. if their primary love language is physical touch they may simply ask for a hug.

4. Genuinely expressing the desire to change your behavior: This apology seeks to come up with a plan to keep the bad behavior from reoccurring. When this is the persons primary apology language, if your apology does not include a desire to change your behavior, you have not truly apologized. Whatever else you say, they do not see it as being sincere. In their minds if you are really apologizing, you will seek to change your behavior.

5. Requesting forgiveness: The words “will you please forgive me?” are music to the ears of the person whose primary apology language is this one. In their mind if you are sincere, you will ask them to forgive you. You have hurt them deeply and they want to know, “do you want to be forgiven?” “Do you want to remove the barrier that your behavior has caused?” Requesting forgiveness is the way to touch their heart and is the way that feels sincere to them.

It is important to recognize that people often have  ways to apologize. As long as they are genuine, try to forgive them if possible.

Questions to help you resolve your conflict.

1. Do you remember the last time you apologized? If so, what did you say?

2. Do you remember the last time someone apologized to you? Did it seem sincere? Did you forgive the person? Why or why not?

3. Discuss with each other what you expect to hear in a sincere apology.

4. Presently, is there anything for which you need to apologize? Why not do it today?

If you would like to purchase Gary’s outstanding CD’s click here:   5 Languages of Apology

Please don’t hesitate to contact me for questions for support. I would also love to hear about a situation where you apologized and everything worked out!

1 Comment

  • Tabitha

    Reply Reply May 24, 2017

    This information was a great resource for me and extremely useful as I try to apply Colossians 3:13

    “Bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive”.

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