Have you ever apologized to someone, but they did not seem to hear or accept your apology? Has someone ever said to you, "I apologized, what more do you want me to do?" If so, these are indications you are not speaking the same apology language. This is not unusual.
I used to believe forgiveness was simply about saying "I'm sorry," and being forgiven, but it turns out there are five different ways to say "I'm sorry." The amazing thing about this is that if someone offers you an apology that omits your apology language, you won't fully accept it or even recognize it as an apology.
The five languages of apology are:
1. Expressing regret -- saying, "I'm sorry for the hurt I caused."
2. Accepting responsibility -- saying, "I was wrong."
3. Making restitution -- asking, "What can I do to make things right?"
4. Genuinely repenting -- saying, "I will try not to do it again."
5. Requesting forgiveness -- asking, "Will you please forgive me?"
Some people just need to hear you are sorry, while others need you to ask for forgiveness. If you've really done something wrong, you might need to use all five languages in your apology.
Apologizing is one of the most important tools for building and maintaining relationships in life. I think this is one of those books everyone should read. Can you imagine a world where every human being knows how to properly apologize for hurting others?
If you're interested, check out the online quiz to find out your apology language. The quiz itself is very interesting.
You can also learn more by reading the book, The Five Languages of Apology.