In a relationship, knowing your partner’s love language is the key to making them feel loved. However, no matter how much love they feel, conflict is inevitable. If you’re curious about what your apology language is, read on.
Welcome to reality! To be honest, I’d worry about any relationship without disagreement. After all, according to The Gottman Institute (who study a research-based approach to relationships) conflict is a normal and natural part of your “happily ever after”.
What’s more is if you’re familiar with Gary Chapman’s popular concept of the “Five Love Languages”, you already have the foundation to effectively use it to overcome relationship hurdles.
Languages For Those Who Are Linguistically Challenged
Turns out, aside from coming up with a ‘language’ that allows you to understand how to express and receive love, Chapman also came up with an Apology Language.
Similarly to love languages, you also hear and express the words and gestures of apology in a different language.
The Five Apology Languages
Which of the above would you like to hear from your partner during conflict resolution?
To fully determine what apology works for you, take the official quiz so you can better understand how to heal hurt in your relationships.
And since this is about resolving conflict with your partner, get them to take the quiz too and share their results with you so both of you are insured for your next squabble.
1. Expressing Regret
If your partner’s top apology language is ‘expressing regret’, they expect an admission of guilt and shame for causing pain/conflict. A simple “I’m sorry” is all they look for and there is no need for explanation.
This language speaks most clearly when the apology offered reflects sincerity not only verbally, but also through body language.
2. Accept Responsibility
Someone with this apology language is looking to hear the other party admitting they are wrong.
Chapman says that to do this sincerely, many partners need to learn how to overcome their ego, the desire to not be viewed as a failure, and simply to admit their actions were wrong.
This may be hard to do for some, but it makes a huge difference to your partner.
3. Make Restitution
Whoever is at fault for whatever conflict is going on, should pay for their wrongdoing. So if your partner’s apology language is to make restitution, they expect you to justify your apology.
At this point in a fight, your partner who feels hurt wants to hear that you still love them and that’s when knowing what their love language comes in to make amends in the most effective way.
Don’t know their love language yet? Get them to take the official Love Language quiz here.
4. Genuinely Repent
Repentance for those who speak this apology language is the convincing factor in an apology.
Telling them “I’ll try not to do that again” shows your desire to modify your behaviour to avoid the situation in the future.
Change is hard though, and whatever it is you want to do can be achieved in baby steps – that is if you truly and genuinely want to repent.
5. Request Forgiveness
Your partner may not always be quick to reconcile after a fight, so if requesting forgiveness is their apology language, it allows them to process their hurt before things go back to normal.
By asking them “will you please forgive me?”, the focus is asking forgiveness and shows your vulnerability to rejection.
It also gives your partner the time and choice to forgive, leaving the future of your relationship in their hands.
We Can Work It Out
Relationships are hard work, but when two people care about each other, they will always find ways to make it work – even if it does call for you to learn a language or two. If you think you know yours and your partner’s love language well, try picking up on their apology language for better conflict resolution.