We all want an apology when we know someone has hurt us intentional or unintentionally but we cannot receive an apology unless it meets our expectations. We have to believe in the apology before we allow it to heal a hurt and reconcile a broken relationship. The key to accepting an apology or giving one in return is understanding your apology language. Meaning what do you or your spouse, friend, sibling, parent and person in relationship, accept to be an apology. You will only accept the kind of apology that resonates deeply with you and once you understand your apology language you then teach each to the one your in a relationship with and vice versa.
Here are five apology languages by Dr. Gary Chapman and Jennifer Thomas
1. Expressing regret: If the person you’ve hurt has this language, they want to know “Do you understand how deeply your behavior has hurt me?” You need to say you are sorry and what specifically you are sorry for.
2. Accepting responsibility: If the person you apologize to has this apology language, they want you to accept responsibility for what you did or said and acknowledge that it was wrong.
3. Making restitution: If someone has this 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.
4. Genuinely expressing the desire to change your behavior: When this is someone’s 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.
5. Requesting forgiveness: If you offend someone who has this apology language, the words “will you please forgive me?” are the words they want to hear. Requesting forgiveness is the way to touch their heart and is the way that feels sincere to them.