The Five Basic Apologies  

(Gary Chapman)

Everyone has a PRIMARY Apology language.

If you don't express the apology in THEIR particular language, they will question your sincerity!

The key is to learn what apology means the person, and speak it when you seek to apologize.

Apology Language #1:

Expression of Regret

"I am so sorry" "I feel badly that I have hurt you."


Apology Language #2:

Accepting Responsibility

"I was wrong. I should not have done that." "There is no excuse for what I did."

(no "buts", that shifts the responsibility back on them.)


Apology Language

#3: Making Restitution

"What can I do to make this up to you? What can I do to make this right?" "I value this relationship."


Apology Language #4:

Repenting or Expressing Desire to Change Behavior

"I don't like what I did, I don't want to do that again. Let's talk so I can find a way to not do this again." "A plan for change."


Apology Language #5:

Requesting Forgiveness

"Will you forgive me?" "Please forgive me"

Rank order these choices for yourself and your partner by putting a number (1-5) beside each one. If you change your mind, don’t erase, but mark out and put the new number beside it. This is for self-discover and conversation. There are not wrong answers. After rating yourself and partner, have them do the same and then take and discover more about your past, your present, and how you would like to live your future.

Me_____________________ You____________________

#1: Expression of Regret                          #1: Expression of Regret

#2: Accepting Responsibility                   #2: Accepting Responsibility

#3: Making Restitution                             #3: Making Restitution

#4: Expressing Desire to Change              #4: Expressing Desire to Change

#5: Requesting Forgiveness                      #5: Physical Touching

Your primary apology language is the number one way you feel cared about when you feel hurt by your partner. This increases your willingness to let go and forgive. 

If it isn't, even if the others are done often, you will develop a sense of distance from them, and them from you, which will eventually create an underlying resentment toward them. This lowers your relationship sentiment toward each other.

The primary apology language for you and then your spouse, most greatly influences the level of positive sentiment you have toward each other when dealing with the inevitable hurt feelings, misunderstandings, and relationship conflict.

I hope I have the privilege to work with you soon.