Apology Languages

When it comes to apologies sometimes we can feel as though people haven’t apologised when they have.

When people apologise, we judge the apology based on how we feel. Do we feel like they meant it? Do we feel like they were being sincere? The other person (the one apologising) can feel also hurt as they might be being sincere and not know what else they can do as they feel like they have apologised.

The reason for this miscommunication is because just as everyone has a love language (which I wrote about here) we also have an apology language.


Expressing Regret

This apology language is simply where someone says “I’m sorry”. When this is your apology language you look for those words and that is enough for you. The other person doesn’t need to explain their actions and you don’t seek revenge. You like the other person to be sincere and get straight to the point by saying sorry.

Request Forgiveness

This requires the person apologising to ask for forgiveness. When they say “will you forgive me / please forgive me” you feel reassured that they want the relationship you have to still work and you have the option to decide whether or not you want to continue with the relationship.

Genuinely Repent

With this apology language you like to hear the other person verbalise how they are going to change and what steps they are going to take. It is all about changing their behaviour so that it doesn’t happen again – I.e. actions speak louder than words with you.

Accept Responsibility

“I am wrong” is ultimately what you want to hear. You want the other person to accept that they were in the wrong with whatever happened and their role/part in it. By accepting responsibility you feel that they meant their apology & it was sincere.

Make Restitution

This language requires knowledge of your love language as you need to know that you are still loved. When the person has apologised they then need to back this up with an act specific to your main love language eg a hug could work if your love language is physical touch, saying what they love about you or simply that they love you could work if your love language is words of affirmation.


As you can see, like the love languages, there are 5 apology languages and I would say your top 2 languages are your main ones. Just like the love languages, I think it’s important to know your own apology language so why not take the test here.


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