DAILY LOVE TIP – Thursday October 13, 2011

Do you know how to apologize♥ In this post I am offering some pointers and guidelines for apologising……. Real life involves real people who make real mistakes. Sometimes saying “I’m sorry” just isn’t enough……. The need for apologies impacts all human relationships. The good news is that you can learn the art of apology. Here’s two references that I have found useful:

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. But 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 their primary Apology Language: Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Gift Giving, Quality Time, or 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 if people are interested. Please let me know if that would help.

Todays’ Addition to my list of My ♥favourite things…..is 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