Do you know how to apologize?

LOVE NOTE – Thursday October 13, 2011

Do you know how to apologize?

Real life involves real people who make real mistakes.

Sometimes saying “I’m sorry” is just not enough…….

Knowing how to genuinely apologize so the other really feels your sincerity is important for all human relationships. The good news is that you can learn the art of apology.

These two references are excellent and highly recommended:

How Can I Forgive You?
by Janis Abrahms Spring

The Five Love Languages of Apology
by Dr. Gary Chapman and Dr. Jennifer Thomas

What makes for a Meaningful GOOD APOLOGY?…..
from How Can I Forgive You?


  • Take responsibility for the damage you’ve caused
  • Make your apology personalI’m sorry I hurt you
  • Make your apology specific – what are you sorry for? – do you get it? For instance, instead of apologizing for being an alcoholic – I’m sorry that you were ashamed to bring your friends home when I was drunk….etc
  • Make your apology deep
  • Make your apology heartfelt
  • Make your apology clean
  • Apologize repeatedly

As one woman put it: “I don’t want to hear you are sorry. I want to know you are sorrowful.” 

EXAMPLES OF BAD APOLOGIES: from How Can I Forgive You? See p.155 for more:
The vindictive apology: “I’ll show you what it means to be sorry”
The grudging apology: “I said I was sorry. What else do you want?”
The sanitized apology: “I’m sorry for whatever I did wrong.”
The lack of ownership apology: “I’m sorry your feelings are hurt.”
The two-second apology: “Sorry.”
The exaggerated, manipulative apology: “I hate myself for what I did. Can you ever, ever forgive me?”
The shirk responsibility apology: “I’m sorry if I hurt your feelings.”

Sincere regret needs to stand alone.

It should NEVER be followed with “But_________”

When we shift the blame to the other person we have moved from apology to an attack.

Or when we make it the fault of some other circumstance it makes it sound like it wasn’t our responsibility. Blame and attacks never lead to forgiveness and reconciliation.

What most people are looking for in an apology is
sincerity and
– that it is genuine.
And how do you determine sincerity?

For an apology to be accepted, you need to speak the language that conveys to the offended your sincerity. Research has revealed that there are Five Basic Elements To An Apology.

Through their research and interaction with hundreds of individuals, Dr. Jennifer Thomas and Dr. Gary Chapman, author of the revolutionary The Five Love Languages, have discovered five fundamental aspects or “languages” of an apology which they call the Five Languages of Apology:

* Expressing Regret – “I really hurt you deeply. I’m really sorry for what I did.”
* Accepting Responsibility – “No excuses. I stuffed up big time.”
* Making Restitution – “What can I do to make this up to you?”
* Genuinely Repenting – I know how much I hurt you and I will never do that again”
* Requesting Forgiveness – “What I did was very so very wrong and I ask you to forgive me.”

To be able to best make Restitution –  “What can I do to make this up to you?”
we need to discover the other’s primary apology language:
– Words of Affirmation
– Acts of Service
– Gift Giving
– Quality Time
– Touch

If you aren’t sure how to apologize, consider saying this directly:
“I know I have hurt you. I value our relationship. What do I need to do or say in order for you to consider forgiving me?”
Their answer will reveal their ‘primary apology language’. Express your apology in that language and you will likely receive forgiveness.

Question for you: what do you expect a person to do or say that would make it possible for you to forgive them?

With forgiveness and apologizing –
– it is a process
– it is not a one time event
– once we release the pain we can move on
– it is so unnatural to forgive someone who has hurt us when we are in so much pain
– it is a decision – not a feeling
– it is not forgetting but moving on and not continuing to hurt
– it is not condoning.

I will pick this topic up again and can offer a process that you can follow for both Giving and Asking for Forgiveness.

Todays’ Addition to my list of My ♥favourite things… Dr Gary Chapman and the abundant work and the books he has contributed to making couples lives and ♡LOVE-ing so much more deep and intimate.

Grateful for the healing and growth that is a consequence of apology, LOVE SUSIE♡

maya angelou


About susiesheartpathblog

My wish with Susies♥HeartpathBlog is to connect and relate to you from my heart and soul and mind to your heart and soul and mind …..whilst sharing information and Resources about ♡LOVE-ing and Relationships and FULL exuberant ALIVENESS★…. My intention is to provide a space where you can engage with me and with the community of those who are ‘walking’ the ♥HEART PATH of conscious relationships….. people who daily make choices and actions about becoming and being more ♡LOVE-ing…….people who care that their partners and families and friends and the wider community feel ♡LOVE-d and ♡LOVE-able… people who are curious about and respect and validate the reality of ‘the other’ and who choose to create and live in a Zero Negativity Zone [ZNZ zone].... I am committed to teaching and sharing practical user-friendly communication ♡TOOLS and Skills and processes that lead to growth and deep healing, connection, ♡LOVE and intimacy. I am a passionate net-worker and committed to connecting people to the abundance of Resources that are available – I believe much of what we need is out there, yet people don’t often know the Resources are there or if they do, where to find them. I love putting people in touch with opportunities and possibilities….
This entry was posted in AFFAIRS, ♥LOVE NOTE, ♥MIRRORING Topic, ♥Positive & Inspirational Quotes, ♥TOOLS, ♥VALUES, Communication, My ♥favourite things, Question for you, TOP Posts on Relationships & LOVE♥ and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Do you know how to apologize?

  1. what happens or how to do this if one really doesn’t understand what went wrong, or can’t hear what the other person is saying?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hello Leah♡
    Thanks for your question.
    I suggest you put your “Curiosity hat” on and ask them what they think “went wrong”, and
    – ask them to help you understand…and
    – do this by “crossing the bridge into their world” and
    – mirroring everything that they say,
    – keeping asking “tell me more” until there is no more, and
    – then validate their reality whether you agree or not.
    Validation is simply letting them know “they make sense” given the logic they are following.
    If you can’t hear/take in what the other person is saying I would recommend some coaching to help tweak out what is getting in the way of each being able to hear what the other is saying.
    The whole area of hurting/betrayal and damage to our relationships with another is a very sensitive and emotion charged area which I believe is linked to both people’s histories and it is crucial to have the Skills and ♡TOOLS for change and healing to happen….
    I recommend seeking professional help earlier on in the pattern rather than waiting as usually it will repeat again and again and the ability of the hurt one to trust again gets less and less.
    Hope that helps, LOVE Susie♡


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