Several years ago, I read a wonderful book called The 5 Love Languages.* It taught me how I expressed and received love, as well as how my husband expressed and received love. Once we knew each other’s love language, we could more completely express our love for the other.
Sadly, of course, trauma and loss screamed at us for three years in a row, which overpowered our loving voices. Although there is still a whisper between us.
The 5 Love Languages are:
- Quality Time
- Words of Affirmation
- Physical Touch
- Acts of Service
My love languages are just about equal across the first three listed above, with Quality Time taking a slight lead when I took the quiz several years ago. I took it again today, and Physical Touch was in the lead, likely because I spend most of my time alone and crave any kind of human contact. Still, the top one was only one point away from the next two, so they’re pretty equal. You can take the quiz here to learn what yours, your partner’s, or your child’s are.
Today on Facebook, The 5 Languages of Apology, now called When Sorry Isn’t Enough, came across my feed. Recent events in my life made this particular post quite apropos today. I took the self-assessment quiz, and I was interested to see that many of the scenarios matched exactly what had happened over the past few weeks in many ways. It wasn’t hard for me to choose what I would like to hear to repair damaged / lost relationships.
If given the chance, I’d also like the opportunity to use the right apology language in hopes of mending a broken friendship. I’d use all the languages to make sure I got it right.
The 5 Languages of Apology are:
- Accept Responsibility
- Make Restitution
- Express Regret
- Request Forgiveness
- Genuinely Repent
I scored in the above order with Accept Responsibility towering above the rest. Make Restitution and Express Regret were neck-and-neck for second place, whereas the last two were far behind.
When you take the quiz, you get a full explanation of each of your languages. Here is an example from my top one:
It is very difficult for some people to admit that they’re wrong. It makes them doubt their self-worth, and no one likes to be portrayed as a failure. However, as adults, we must all admit that..we will make mistakes. We are going to make poor decisions that hurt our mates, and we are going to have to admit that we were wrong. We have to accept responsibility for our own failures. For many individuals, all they want is to hear the words, “I am wrong.” If the apology neglects accepting responsibility for their actions, many partners will not feel as though the apology was meaningful and sincere. Many partners need to learn how to overcome their ego, the desire to not be viewed as a failure, and simply admit that their actions were wrong. For a mate who speaks this apology language, if an apology does not admit fault, it is not worth hearing. Being sincere in your apology means allowing yourself to be weak, and admitting that you make mistakes. Though this may be hard to do for some people, it makes a world of a difference to your partner who speaks this language.
It was interesting to read the different ways people say and hear apologies. I automatically take responsibility for things that aren’t even mine at time to try and smooth things over, so the first wasn’t a big surprise. With my highly-triggering issues with injustice, #2 wasn’t a surprise either, and neither was #3. Expressing Regret, especially when coupled with some Words of Affirmation (from the Love Languages above) about the importance of the relationship, my feelings, or my importance in their life.
If you hurt someone you care about, whether intentionally or (especially) not, a sincere, heartfelt apology goes so far and is actually quite healing.
Relationships are so fragile, as are hearts. Good connections truly rare. . . so please apologize when you make a mistake or someone is hurt, and give them the chance to do the same when you are hurt.
May you all find peace.