The Five Languages of Apology by Sharon Scott, LPC LMFT
The Five Languages of Apology
By Sharon Scott, LPC, LMFT
Have you ever been hurt to the core by another person? I suspect that most people will immediately think of a situation when someone said or did something unkind or hurtful to them. I can even recall as far back as fourth grade when a girl named Wilma called me a mean name! And that was many moons ago. And have you ever received a half-hearted apology or one that didn’t sound like an apology? I remember one of those and it went something like this: “I’m sorry that bothered you.” The person was still making me be responsible for the problem like I was too sensitive! Has anyone ever sincerely apologized to you and it made it a lot better? I can remember a few of those times too. Those are most appreciated!
Most of us have never been taught the art of an apology. Gary Chapman and Jennifer Thomas wrote a book titled The Five Languages of Apology and present the components to an effective apology. We each expect different things from someone who has offended us’this book puts them all together for an effective way to offer a much needed apology. The necessary ingredients include:
- Expressing regret’such as “I am sorry.”
- Accepting responsibility’such as “I was wrong.”
- Making restitution'”What can I do to make it right?” (This reassures us that the otherperson still cares for us.)
- Genuinely repenting'”I will try not to do it again.”
- Requesting forgiveness'”Will you please forgive me?”
It’s important to acknowledge when we were wrong or when we offended someone. These components will help us to make a more complete apology. Besides using ourselves, this is a communication skill that you can teach to your children.
Copyright 2018, Sharon Scott. No reproduction without written permission from author.
The guide for parents/educators on how to peer-proof children and teens is Peer Pressure Reversal: An Adult Guide to Developing a Responsible Child, 2nd Ed.
Her popular book for teens, How to Say No and Keep Your Friends, 2nd Ed., empowers kids to stand out,not just fit in!
A follow-up book for teens, When to Say Yes! And Make More Friends, shows adolescents how to select and meet quality friends and, in general, feel good for doing and being good.
Sharon also has a charming series of five books for elementary-age children each teaching an important living skill and "co-authored" with her savvy cocker spaniel Nicholas who makes the learning fun.Their book on managing elementary-age peer pressure is titled Too Smart for Trouble.
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