Chapman's 5 Apology Languages book cover

Chapman’s 5 Languages of Apology

Chapman's 5 Apology Languages book cover

In my last post I mentioned Chapman’s 5 Love Languages.  He also has a more recent tool, the  5 Languages of Apology. Now they’ve got a quiz up on their website, to figure out which of the 5 “Apology Languages” you resonate most with. Which of the 5 Apology Languages do you think is MY primary one? What about you? What’s your apology language? What do you think about this tool?  Comments welcome!

Seems like I’m VERY strongly in favor of “making restitution” where possible:

2     Expressing Regret
3     Accepting Responsibility
11     Making Restitution
3     Genuinely Repenting
1     Requesting Apology

Now that you know your apology language, here’s some more information you might not have realized about it, and why certain apologies affect you more than others.
Making Restitution

You have chosen Making Restitution as your primary Apology Language. You find it easiest to forgive when action is taken to compensate for the wrong done to you. You listen not only to admission of fault, but also for the question, What can I do to make it better?

I agree that without that final step, an apology doesn’t feel “complete” to me.

What about you? What’s your primary apology language? What do you think about this tool?


5 thoughts on “Chapman’s 5 Languages of Apology

  1. Sandra L. Tish

    The author reveals, through 25 years of counseling, that he has determined people communicate love in five basic ways.They are Quality Time, Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Physical Touch and Giving Gifts. For example, if my primary love language is Quality Time, then I will show my love to others by spending quality time with them. If I don’t receive that in return, my love tank will be empty. The author stresses the importance of knowing your loved one’s love language so that you can communicate love to that person in a way in which he/she feels love, so that their love tank can be continually replenished. If my spous’s love language is acts of service and he is always doing things for me to communicate his love, but I receive love through the language of quality time, I will not receive his acts of service as communicating love and therefore my love tank will be dry. I in return, must communicate my love to him through acts of service in order to fill his love tank. An empty love tank causes relationships to deteriorate.This book was excellent for teaching us to recognize the way in which our loved ones receive and feel loved.

    1. dawnd Post author

      Well, this is a pretty good summation of Chapman’s basic ideas about Love Languages, the predecessor to the book I’m discussing in this post. But I’m puzzled as to why you left the comment? Did you have a question or comment regarding MY entry? I’m happy to engage you in discussion (if you’re actually a real person…)

  2. dawnd Post author

    And someone in another location commented that the 5 Apology Languages were “90% about words”–saying or failing to say the right or wrong things. Zie speculated that perhaps Chapman himself is a “Words” person. Which led me to comment:

    “There’s very little about DOING the right thing in there. I think that’s part of why I ended up with “Restitution”–it’s the only DOING thing in there. [I’m an Acts of Service gal, in the 5 Love Languages.]

    Which causes me to wonder how all of this might tie into the Love Languages?” [Are there any correlations? Yet another research project for someone!]

  3. dawnd Post author

    In my FB Page (, the comment thread lead me to post some things I thought worth re-posting here:

    I think some of why I came up with Restitution had to do with how they were phrasing their examples. In most cases, I just didn’t like how they phrased the possible answers, and would have chosen something different altogether. …Something like, “Wow, I really see/feel/hear/understand how much I hurt you. It makes sense to me that you’d feel that way. I’m really sorry, and I’ll try not to do that again. [or maybe “Can we figure out not to have that happen again?”] Is there anything that might help you feel better right now?”

    It involves an “empathy” piece and and a validation of my feelings that doesn’t quite happen in most of their examples.

    I think if I heard an apology like [the FB poster] suggested, i.e., they “understand why it happened and hope to avoid the situation in the future… [and I] feel there is true recognition/witnessing of my hurt,” then I’d feel that was a good apology.

    I think maybe what causes me to come out as “Restitution” is that that’s what comes closest to the “empathy and validation” piece that seems to be missing for me in their examples. I think it ties back to childhood stuff again, where I somehow didn’t feel like my feelings were ok, or even understandable, a lot of the time.

    Overall, my sense (when I looked at this before) was that the 5 Love Languages was brilliant, and one of the best tools for communication that I know. But that the 5 Apology Languages is trying to fit a square peg into a star-shaped hole. I think he’s stretching a metaphor, although I think the idea that people fall into general categories of what they’re looking for in apologies is probably accurate. I just don’t think it’s these 5. And maybe not 5 at all.


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