Requesting forgiveness is one of the five apology languages. For some people it is their primary language. In their minds, if you don't request forgiveness, you have not apologized. One wife said, "All he ever says is, 'I'm sorry.' What is that supposed to mean? Does he realize that he has done wrong? Does he want to be forgiven? Then why can't he ask for it?"
The reason he does not "ask for it" is that he may not know that requesting forgiveness is one of five ways to apologize. Most of us only learn one or two statements of apology as we grow up. To make a successful apology we may need to learn to speak another language.
Learning How to Apologize
When Dr. Jennifer Thomas and I wrote our book, The Five Languages of Apology, we discovered that people apologize in different ways. What one person considers an apology is not what another person is looking for. He says, "I'm sorry," while she wants to hear him say, "I was wrong." Or, she says, "What can I do to make things right?" And, he is saying, "For a start you can tell me what you are going to do to make sure this does not happen again tomorrow." None of us are experts on apologizing, but the good news is that we can learn.
Adapted from The Five Languages of Apology by Dr. Gary Chapman.
To find out more about Dr. Chapman's resources, visit http://www.5lovelanguages.com/.
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The Love Language Profile for Teenagers
The 5 Love Languages of Teenagers
The 5 Love Languages DVD (DPTV)
The 5 Love Languages The Five Languages of Apology