5 Ways To Apologize

Learn the different ways to apologize effectively.
Learn the different ways to apologize effectively.

Ways to Apologize

Do you know how to apologize properly? Have you ever been completely dissatisfied by an apology offered to you? There is more than one way to apologize. A simple I’m sorry may not always be the ideal way to communicate your regret.

Dr. Gary Chapman explains this problem and offers a solution in his new book The Five Languages of Apology . According to Chapman, we all have different requirements in an apology, and learning to speak the apology languages will help you to sincerely communicate in your most important relationships.

When I first spotted this book on the shelf, I couldn’t help but think, I don’t need that! If anyone knows how to apologize, it’s me . I was kind of right. This seems to be my area of expertise. I am already multilingual when it comes to the art of apology.

So I bought it for my husband.

5 Ways to Apologize

Here are the 5 Languages, as outlined by Dr. Gary Chapman:

  • Expressing Regret: I’m sorry
  • Accepting Responsibility: I was wrong
  • Making Restitution: What can I do to make it right?
  • Genuinely Repenting: I’ll try not to do it again.
  • Requesting Forgiveness: Will you please forgive me?

Ways to Apologize: The Five Apology Languages

You see, it is one of things that really irks me about people. They just don’t do it right. If everyone practiced apologizing properly, the world would surely be a better place. Now call me a perfectionist if you’d like, but you may feel the need to apologize for it later.

If you are going to bite the bullet and say you’re sorry to someone you love because you were truly wrong , you need to own it. You need to accept the responsibility. And they will know if you are sincere.

This brings me to the biggest apology mistake:

"I am sorry I said your tush looks big in those pants, but…"

Anytime you add the but, you shift the responsibility from yourself to the other person. The but is usually followed by something like “I just had to be honest” or “you drove me to it” or “I couldn’t help myself. ” That, my friends, is not an apology. You may possibly be forgiven, but you will not see any restoration in the relationship. Restoring love and trust in a relationship takes genuine effort. An inability to apologize properly can have long lasting effects on a marriage or relationship. It can end it.

I didn’t really buy it for my husband.

I read it and learned a lot about myself. Now I clearly understand why I don’t feel like sorry is enough. I am high maintenance when it comes to apologies. You need to give me at least three or four of the five languages, well done. Then I can quickly forgive.

Then of course, there is the problem of throwing apologies around far too frequently and without good reason. This is where I get into trouble, I’m sorry to say. What is the problem with that? It’s like crying wolf. If you do it too much, your sincerity will be questioned. Notice that apologizing for everything doesn't make you feel well.

And then there are those of us who cannot, no matter how hard we try, muster up the strength to say those two little words at all.

Is your apology sincere?
Is your apology sincere?

I know what you are thinking, but before you email this off to your significant other to point out how badly they need to learn how to apologize, wait. Finish reading. Watch the videos. Maybe you can learn a thing or two about yourself. Maybe you could benefit and learn a few new ways to apologize too.

Think about the definition of repentance. It basically means “ I have changed my mind about this.” The point is to communicate that effectively in an apology. The words are not completely universal. One person may feel that I’m sorry is completely adequate. Another may need to hear Will you please forgive me? or I’ll make it up to you or I won’t do it again.

So what does this perfectionist want in an apology? Something like this:

"Amy, my beautiful, thin woman, I am so truly sorry .You were right and I was wrong (as usual). I never should have worn my AC /DC concert t-shirt that is 20-years-old and 2 sizes too small to your high school reunion. Please forgive me. I have seen my mistake and will never do it again. I promise to wear a nice polo shirt from now on and preserve your reputation for good decent taste. I will make it up to you this Saturday by taking the kids for the day. Here is a gift certificate for a day at the spa.”

Yes, in my dreams. For the record: my husband does put that shirt on now and then, but he has never really worn it out.

Why Do We Need Apologies? Do We Really Need So Many Ways to Apologize?

When you have been wronged by someone you love, some one you have trusted, someone who is supposed to love you or claims to respect you, something within you begins to cry out for reconciliation. Without it your relationship and the bond you share will be broken. The relationship may go on, but it will be only a shadow of what it was; a shadow of what it could or should be.

Keep in mind that apologizing is all about doing it for someone else. It is about letting them know you have remorse. Oh, and they know. They always know if you are sincere. Don’t you recognize a fake, forced apology when you hear one? How does that make you feel about the other person? You know from experience that fake is not an effective way to apologize. It only makes the situation worse.

Learn to apologize effectively. It will save both you and the person who deserves the apology unnecessary pain.

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Comments 154 comments

stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 8 years ago from Bend, Oregon

LOL - the AC/DC T-Shirt is definitely an offense that demands an apology! But in all seriousness, Amy, I find that so often these days, saying "sorry" lacks many of the 5 factors you outlined above. In fact, public apologies these days usually sound more like "I'm sorry you feel that way," instead of "I'm sorry I said or did something to hurt or offend you." No one wants to take any responsibility any longer. That should all change if only they would read this Hub.

SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 8 years ago from Southern California, USA

This is a good hub and I do agree with Steph about how many apologies are not as sincere as they should be. I only want someone to apologize when I am hurt if they really mean it, and not just because they think a few words will make me feel better.

In The Doghouse profile image

In The Doghouse 8 years ago from California


I completely agree that an apology is absolutely a necessary step in the repentance process. Learning how to apologize correctly is imperative to any relationship we are to engage in. Apologies in marriage are especially important, as oft times we as the offender cannot take responsibility as the cause of the hurt, and sometimes it is because we are hurt ourselves. The Languages of Apology is good council for us to follow if we want to have increased love in our lives, don't you think?

reversefunnelsyst profile image

reversefunnelsyst 8 years ago from Nashville


Thank you for sharing. I have read a lot of Dr Chapman books. I always believed apology can be done so many ways and it is the most humbling experience a human can go through. It is very personal. Thank you very much for providing great hub!

Love for you to be my fan!

Tatyana Gann

oberbreckling 8 years ago

Hi Amy you know it does suck when you cant get a real im sorry but I am a master to this simply because when Im sorry I never say it unless I really am sorry which is alot lol but when you mean it and I mean when you mean it to me that's pretty convincing and there really shouldn't be and art to tellin that your sorry when your not when im wrong I let them know but you wouldn't believe how many people cant do this my wife for one hahaha so she shows it hey good enough for me.

robie2 profile image

robie2 8 years ago from Central New Jersey

A sincere apology always works in my book, but you are right about the ones with a "but" attached. The 5 languages of apology spell it out perfectly. There are many ways to apologize, but only one way to forgive. I think that for me, the most important thing after accepting an apology is not holding a grudge and letting the whole thing go. I'm sorry can't work if forgiveness isn't forthcoming. Thanks for another good one, Amy.

LdsNana-AskMormon profile image

LdsNana-AskMormon 8 years ago from Southern California

What a great topic for an article. How to apologize, really is a multi-step process in order for a true apology to be effective. Of course, that is if we truly are sorry and hope to not ever repeat that which hurt or offended another person. Not that this is always possible, but how do we know when a person has really really apologized for something that was hurtful?

Words are only as good as the actions that follow those words. When a person apologizes for a wrong which they have committed, true repentance means a change in actions. This change is what needs to be seen and felt by someone who has need of an apology.

When we apologize just for the sake of peace or whatever, and really don't believe, nor are really willing to accept, other than our words - that what we have done was all that bad, then most likely our apology will not be complete, and the issue will return.

If we desire to truly apologize for something we have done, then we must understand just how important it is, that we not only say "I'm sorry", but that our actions follow-up to complete a true show of remorse.

Also, it is my belief - that there is never an apology given, without also the process of forgiveness going hand in hand. Repentance and forgiveness are equal partners in order for a relationship to flourish. This, must come from both individuals for a complete healing.

Great Hub:-)



amy jane profile image

amy jane 8 years ago from Connecticut Author

Hi Steph, I agree, most of the apologies we hear these days are lacking sincerity. "I'm sorry you feel that way" is not an apology at all, yet so many people use that phrase.

I have been corrected by my darling husband. The t-shirt is not AC/DC. It is an Iron Maiden concert shirt. How could I confuse the two?!?

amy jane profile image

amy jane 8 years ago from Connecticut Author

SweetiePie, I absolutely feel the same way! I don't want someone to say anything that they don't mean, especially if they don't understand how they have hurt me. It is meaningless and makes me feel worse.

amy jane profile image

amy jane 8 years ago from Connecticut Author

Hi Diana, yes, the Languages of Apology is excellent advice, as well as Dr. Chapman's other bestselling book The Five Love Languages. Learning to develop and keep the bonds of love strong in all of our relationships should be top priority!

Tatyana, I though I was your fan! I will fix that now. :)

solarshingles profile image

solarshingles 8 years ago from london

Dear Amy, if we would have only used the sincere apology many more times in our lives, many our problems wouldn't have been our problems any more. Thank you very much for this wonderful hub about 5 ways to apologize. All videos are very short, yet so powerful and well presented.

amy jane profile image

amy jane 8 years ago from Connecticut Author

Hi Oberbrekling, apologies are the source of much frustration, I think. Thanks for commenting. :)

Thank you Robie! Yes, being able to forgive is so important. Without an apology it is hard, but not impossible. Sometimes we have to forgive anyway, for our own benefit.

amy jane profile image

amy jane 8 years ago from Connecticut Author

Thank you, Kathryn, for your insightful comment. It is true there is more to reconciliation than an apoplogy. It does go hand-in-hand with forgiveness. :)

Hi Ervin, I had not thought of looking back at how life woud be different if apologies had been made when necessary! Wow. So much pain could have been avoided. That is great motivation to apologize properly in the future! Thanks for the new perspective. :)

PetMemorialWorld profile image

PetMemorialWorld 8 years ago from New Zealand

I think I would like your husband - my wardrobe has a few classic clothes from bygone eras hidden away for nostalgic moments lol

amy jane profile image

amy jane 8 years ago from Connecticut Author

You would like him! He is the kind of guy everyone likes. He is holding on to his heavy metal from the 80's with no apologies. We have Star Trek and Star Wars ornaments on our Christmas Tree too. :)

proudgrandpa profile image

proudgrandpa 8 years ago from Charlotte, NC

I have soooooo much practice at apologizing that Dr. Chapman could have just called me up for his research.

Good hub as usual. My only addition is that I think it is okay and even necessary to apologize to our kids when we screw up. It is also a valuable teaching moment to apologize to someone, especially a spouse in front of a child. It models many good practices for them.

I didn't say it was easy, I just think it is valuable.

Thanks for another good hub. NEIL

Joel McDonald profile image

Joel McDonald 8 years ago from Denver, Colorado

My wife has taught me the lesson about not using "but" along with an apology, and I'm coming around...




"but" I still slip every once in a while ;-)

Judy Cullins profile image

Judy Cullins 8 years ago from La Mesa, CA

Dear Amy,

Your article is right on. When a person apologizes it diffuses the argument or issue immediately. I like a clean slate everyday communicating with everyone, especially business clients. Thanks again!

marisuewrites profile image

marisuewrites 8 years ago from USA

very good!! and you know I think the constant o i'm sorry people say for nothing is so annoying....but i'm a sucker for a heartfelt apology. I'm in their corner and eager to forgive most of the time.

such valuable information amy....thank you!

GoogleCashMoney profile image

GoogleCashMoney 8 years ago from Mumbai, India

LoL! Very good Hub.

amy jane profile image

amy jane 8 years ago from Connecticut Author

Neil and Joel, you guys made me laugh! Sounds like you both are getting first class training in this. :)

Neil, I agree that apologizing to or in front of your children when you make a mistake is very valuable. It restores their trust in you and teaches them how to apologize genuinely.

amy jane profile image

amy jane 8 years ago from Connecticut Author

Hi Judy, I like a clean slate every day too. I think people underestimate the power of an apology in the business world. So many problems could be avoided by simply apologizing.

amy jane profile image

amy jane 8 years ago from Connecticut Author

I am a sucker for a heartfelt apology too, Marisue. People could get away with a lot around me if they knew... oh wait...they already do! Thank you for reading. :)

Thank you Googlecashmoney, glad you liked it.

debby28 profile image

debby28 8 years ago from WASHINGTON

I love this hub! This so true sayit if you mean it if not don't bother. Great Hub

John Chancellor profile image

John Chancellor 8 years ago from Tennessee

Very good advice. Too often in an effort to protect our own ego, we simply cannot (or will not) admit that we were wrong. This is when the "I'm sorry, but .." excuses are used.

If we could just learn to take responsibility for our actions and to admit when we are wrong, quit trying to be right all the time, as you said, the world would be much better place to live.

mikeking 8 years ago

nice advice. I guess the key about winning is not about beating down opponents but get what you want.

amy jane profile image

amy jane 8 years ago from Connecticut Author

Thanks Debby, I am glad you like it!

Hi John, you are right our egos get in the way all too often. It is hard to take responsibility sometimes, especially when it means admitting that we caused someone we love pain. Apologizing isn't always a quick fix, but it is the first step towards healing. Thanks, as always, for your thoughtful comment.

Thanks Mike. Hurting another person to "win" is not really a victory at all.

mahasson profile image

mahasson 8 years ago from Georgia

Nice hub! Thanks for the input

samta 8 years ago


readin everythin ,everything seemed perfect.. i too believe in true apologizing,but ii wanna ask u one thing... i dont no if its a good thing or a bad but i aologize too often ,at times evn on da cost of my self respect.!i dont no watz more imp in life... ONES SELF RESPECT OR APOLOGY!


rkat profile image

rkat 8 years ago

Apologies can go a long way, if done right! Dont apologize unless you really mean it. And if you mean it then you should take the advice from this hub.

sixtyorso profile image

sixtyorso 8 years ago from South Africa

Great Hub. Apologies are sooo hard to do. Mainly because they should be meaningful, heartfelt with no buts. We have rule in our house, we never go to bed without kissing goodnight and saying I love you. Love is never having to say you are sorry...but sometimes you have to!

amy jane profile image

amy jane 8 years ago from Connecticut Author

HI Samta, I agree with Rcat's advice. Don't apologize if you don't mean it, and you shouldn't have to apologize for something that was not your fault. Apologizing too much is a problem because it can make you seem insincere.

Thanks rkat. :)

Sixtyorso, you are right, apologies are hard to do and many people are really uncomfortable with apologizing. Taking responsibility is key, as well as keeping in mind that oyu are doingit for the other person. I love your goodnight rule!

Ananta65 8 years ago

“I’m sorry, but…” is an absolute no-no. Either you are truly sorry for what you have said or done, regardless the circumstances, or you’re not.

As far as the languages are concerned: to me there’s only one language, the language of the heart.

New Day profile image

New Day 8 years ago from Western United States

Apologies (at least sincere ones) are in short supply these days. Everywhere you turn, in the media, at work, at your kids' school - Gosh, even here at HubPages, you'll see people making mistakes but not owning up to it. Trust is founded on people accepting responsibility for wrongdoing. If we can't even get to that first step, then the entire basis for the relationship may be shattered. I really enjoyed reading this Hub.

amy jane profile image

amy jane 8 years ago from Connecticut Author

Hi Anata, I agree completely! All of the ways to apologize have to come from the heart to be really be heard on the receiving end.

Thank you, New Day, I am glad you enjoyed this. Everyone, it seems, tries to brush off the responsibility on to someone else, or claim it is beyond their control in some way.

Thanks to both of you for your comments. :)

articleCK profile image

articleCK 8 years ago from United Kingdom

I think a heartfelt apology is essential to forgiveness. When you have been wronged, you need to know that the person who wronged you is truly sorry for it. If they aren't how can the relationship continue? You don't trust that person anymore.

There is someone in my life who I REALLY want to forgive, but I can't because they can't, don't won't? Apologize. When this is the situation I believe the only thing you can do is live your life without that person.

gjcody profile image

gjcody 8 years ago

Very good hub amy jane ...I find myself needing this information at this time in my life. I have reunited with my X and I was not sure I wanted this. It is all about this subject. We seem to keep slipping back into the same issues ...You know the deal ...first time shame on you and then the next time shame on me. Maybe this book could help to get it right.

My best to you!

Nickel profile image

Nickel 8 years ago

Perfect! I just has a discussion about 'apoloigizing' with my significant other. It's the sincerity that is always missing when the apoloigizing occurs. I'm trying to teach this to my son and believe me, it's hard! Thanks for this!

Karen Ellis profile image

Karen Ellis 8 years ago from Central Oregon

Some very good points. Next time I'll know how to give the perfect apology. Thanks.

amy jane profile image

amy jane 8 years ago from Connecticut Author

Hi ArticleCK, I agree, true regret needs to be expressed in an apology and I think that is exactly what is left out all too often. Yes, sometimes we have to move on if we don't get the apology we need, but I do think sometimes we need to forgive anyway, for our own peace. Leaving anger to grow within us is not a good thing either. Thanks for reading. :)

amy jane profile image

amy jane 8 years ago from Connecticut Author

gjcody, I think it is so easy to fall into old patterns. It takes true commitment to make changes in our lives and learn how to apologize and forgive. I wish you the best in restoring your relationship and I hope this was a help to you.

AEvans profile image

AEvans 8 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

Thank you for sharing it is something all of us should great article !!!!

Ananta65 8 years ago

I think the key is to look at the matter from your own perspective. What I mean is that if you apologize because you think or expect that the other person wants that or feels comforted you’re already on the wrong track. You should apologize because YOU feel you have done something wrong or made a mistake.

amy jane profile image

amy jane 8 years ago from Connecticut Author

Hi Nickel, I agree that teaching sincerity to a child can be very challenging! I am right there with you. :)

Karen and Aevans, thank you for reading and commenting.

amy jane profile image

amy jane 8 years ago from Connecticut Author

Hi Anata, yes, I would not recommend that anyone pretend to be sincere. I think it is very obvious to most people when you are trying to apologize, but really aren't feeling remorse. If you aren't sorry, you shouldn't fake it. That is more harmful to the relationship, in my opinion.

ripplemaker profile image

ripplemaker 8 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

This is a beautiful hub to reflect on. Owning up to our mistakes and sincerely apologizing for it can make a huge difference in our relationships. :)

amy jane profile image

amy jane 8 years ago from Connecticut Author

Thanks so much, Michelle. I think it is difficult to maintain relationships long term if we are not willing to own our mistakes and ask for forgiveness. It is really in our own best interests too! Thanks for reading and commenting. :)

weblog profile image

weblog 8 years ago from 1India

Hi Amy, nice hub. Especially, I liked the not-using-but point :)

amy jane profile image

amy jane 8 years ago from Connecticut Author

Thank you weblog! That is one of my favorite points too.

oberbreckling 8 years ago

Hi amyjane I just wanted to share this with you and your readers about an apology that I just made to a fellow hubbist now remember Ive been in constructio for 20 years anyway this was a sorry from the heart and now they are my fan as well as I am theres plz. take a lookhttp://hubpages.com/hub/So-You-Want-To-Hire-A-Cont...

Princessa profile image

Princessa 8 years ago from France

wow... I've just learnt so much about apologizing! I never realized before the real meaning of the different ways of apologizing. Thanks for sharing this, a good and sincere apology said on time can save a relationship!

amy jane profile image

amy jane 8 years ago from Connecticut Author

Oberbreckling, thank you for sharing that! That was awesome that you were able to go back and apologize with such sincerity after getting so angry. I applaud you for that! Many people would have simply walked away and not taken the time to reconsider the other person's point of view. Apologies truly can build a bridge to a friendship.

amy jane profile image

amy jane 8 years ago from Connecticut Author

Thanks Princessa, I am so glad you enjoyed this! A true apology spoken from the heart certainly can save a relationship. :)

stevemark122000 profile image

stevemark122000 8 years ago from Southern California

Amy, you did a great job on this hub. I think no matter how sincere we think we are in apologies there is always room for improvement. I have never read The Five Languages of Apology but I have read the Five love languages by the same author, so now I've read your hub I wlll have to make reading this book a priority.

that one girl profile image

that one girl 8 years ago from Washington state

I loved this. I'm very sticky about the apologies I receive, too. If it's not sincere, I'll usually forgive, but I'm still quite hurt. When I was a teenager, I stopped apologizing if I didn't truly feel sorry. It was a rather over-the-top response to my little sister's accusation of insincere apologies.

However, it didn't work. Although I only apologized, and apologized nicely with no caveats, when I felt honestly bad for what I had said/done, my sister still accused me of being insincere. It was really quite irritating.

TheCynosure profile image

TheCynosure 8 years ago from India

One should always accept their mistakes and ask for forgiveness. As acceptance is a sign of humility. Amy a Great hub.

shuey 03 profile image

shuey 03 8 years ago from Utah

Great hub! I find that since I got married, I am doing 10x more apologizing than I did as a single dude. Lots of good tips and advice.

amy jane profile image

amy jane 8 years ago from Connecticut Author

Thanks Steve, if you liked the 5 Love Languages, you will definitely enjoy this book. Dr. Chapman is insightful, as always! There is always something more to learn when it comes relationships. :)

That One Girl, Yes, some people may not accept even the most sincere apology because they want an excuse to stay mad. It's sad really, that they would rather hold on to their hurt than forgive. Not to say that forgiveness is easy, but it is necessary if we want to move on. Thank you for reading and commenting. :)

amy jane profile image

amy jane 8 years ago from Connecticut Author

The Cynosure, thank you! Accepting responsibility is so important, I think, because without it there is little hope of change. If we can't own up to our mistakes, how can we change our future actions?

Thanks Shuey, marriage will test your communication skills in a whole new way. Best of luck in your new adventure. :)

Sandilyn profile image

Sandilyn 8 years ago from Port Orange, FL

What a new and good topic! We all need to realize the importance of those words. So many people do not use words like thank you, excuse me, and I am sorry.

I had a hard time with that one myself when I was younger but someone pointed it out to me and I noticed it. It took a long time to correct it but it sure did make a big difference in my relationships when I did.

We all need to hear those words when someone has hurt us in some way!

amy jane profile image

amy jane 8 years ago from Connecticut Author

Thank you Sandilyn. this is an interesting topic to discuss because most people just take it for granted, thinking they know the best and only way to do it. Looking at the "languages of apology" helps us to understand our own needs and the needs of those around us. Thanks for commenting! :)

charlemont profile image

charlemont 8 years ago from Lithuania

That short and quickly uttered word "but" actually ruins the whole attempt for apology. Sounds simple when read, but has already become an internal habit of me :-(

Very profound and, regretfully, true-to-life thoughts, Amy. Thanks for sharing!

amy jane profile image

amy jane 8 years ago from Connecticut Author

You're welcome, Charlemont. That "but" can be tough to get rid of. I think it becomes a habit. Breaking that habit will be worth the effort for those you are apologizing to! :)

PLM profile image

PLM 8 years ago

Regrettably so I am far to cynical and facetious to ever appologize. But I would like to appologize for any offense that might have been taken when I wore my 20 year old AC/DC shirt 2 sizes to small for my mid-drift during my reading of this hub.

(it's almost scarey how Amy knows what I am wearing)

I will throw it out immediately and replace it with my much more in style 13 year old KISS muslce shirt.

amy jane profile image

amy jane 8 years ago from Connecticut Author

Oh no! Not a KISS t-shirt! My husband has one of those too. Big problem!

Thanks for stopping in to make me laugh. :)

rmr profile image

rmr 8 years ago from Livonia, MI

Amy Jane, I do, most sincerely apologize for not reading this hub sooner. Isn't the AC/DC shirt just part of a man's boyish charm? I must admit that I would never wear that shirt. Mine is a Deep Purple shirt from 1986. Can I keep wearing it if I apologize each time?

amy jane profile image

amy jane 8 years ago from Connecticut Author

Hi rmr, I think if you keep apologizing and no one is deeply offended (and the shirt covers your belly adequately) you could keep wearing your souvenir shirt. You are right, there is a boyish charm to it. Honestly, if I need a good laugh my husband will put it on and catch me off guard. It always kills me. I just can't help laughing at him! So if you don't mind the giggles...by all means! I am glad you finally got around to reading this (I bet you thought it was all serious). Now I know that there are many men out there torturing us women with their old t-shirts!

a_dork profile image

a_dork 8 years ago from egotistical jersey, usa

if only i can get my wife to read this.. LOL - i dont think she was ever taught how, when or why to apologize!

amy jane profile image

amy jane 8 years ago from Connecticut Author

Yes, sometimes people don't learn this as a child and it really effects their relationships long term. Also keep in mind that it is unlikely that her parents apologized to her / or eachother when she was growing up, so in a way it is simply that she is not familiar with the benefits of apologizing.

Tana Hamiter profile image

Tana Hamiter 8 years ago

Great article, thanks. For me, saying I'm sorry, or you are sorry is just the first step. If I don't see a change in behavior then it means little. We are what we do, what we say, how we act and react. Words are the property of all, while actions are the depth of who we are. Tana

flutterbug77 profile image

flutterbug77 8 years ago from USA

Love this one. It's hard to apologize sometimes, but I have to if I feel it's needed because it bothers me not to free myself of the guilt and the other person needs to hear it.

glassvisage profile image

glassvisage 8 years ago from Northern California

It sounds sad, but maybe it would be helpful to put the five factors in bullets so they're easier to read and think about :) I like the addition of the definition of repentance in here too; it really get the point across.

amy jane profile image

amy jane 8 years ago from Connecticut Author

Hi Tana, thank you for reading and sharing your insights on apologizing and creating change. I agree!

Flutterbug, so glad you like it! Apologizing and be forgiven is an important step in learning to forgive ourselves for the mistakes we have made.

Thank you, Glasvisage, I think many people forget what the word repentance means! It is one of those that get thrown around to much in the wrong ways.

Maria 8 years ago

Amy, thank you for the article, it came really handy to me since I had to do an apologize to someone I deeply love, when I was trying to figure what to say, came to surf the web and found the article, God has mistery ways to give us messages, lol, it helped me a lot to try to do it right, but mostly, helped me to understand I shouldn't let my self step out of the line, thank you, and next time you have to clean windows or wax the car remember old t shirts provide smooth rags to do it, hahaha.

amy jane profile image

amy jane 8 years ago from Connecticut Author

Hi Maria, thank you so much for reading. I am so glad to hear that you found this helpful. lol, I will remember that about the shirts! My windows are looking a little hazy. :)

dayzeebee profile image

dayzeebee 8 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

your presentation is simply awesome... well-written, well-researched, and well-organized.... it really made me stop and check on myself. thank you. you have educated and empowered me. hats off...

amy jane profile image

amy jane 8 years ago from Connecticut Author

Thanks so much Dayzeebee! Apologizing is my specialty. These skills are very useful for me and I am you enjoyed learning about them. :)

koncling profile image

koncling 8 years ago from Nice Winding Room

wew nice hub..

but sometimes somehow we feel so hard to say "sorry"

amy jane profile image

amy jane 8 years ago from Connecticut Author

Hi koncling, I agree, it can be so hard to apologize, especially if the person you owe that apology to is not gracious about receiving it. Sometimes you just have to do it anyway. :)

Stay at Home Dad profile image

Stay at Home Dad 8 years ago from Georgia

I am going to make this hub required reading for my 12 year old. Thanks for this insightful. pertinent hub on a subject everyone struggles with from time to time, including myself... :-)

amy jane profile image

amy jane 8 years ago from Connecticut Author

Thank you, Stay at Home Dad, I am trying to teach this to my 8-year-old, and she is starting to get it, so good luck with your 12 year-old! I agree, we all struggle with apologizing at some point. :)

nisanth mn profile image

nisanth mn 8 years ago from india

thank you amy , for this valuable piece of information. i was very poor in those 5 languages so far.(i think ), now i am genuinely repenting.i will be thankful to you.

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amy jane 8 years ago from Connecticut Author

You're welcome, nisanth. Thank you for reading and comenting. I think that learning to apologize is essential to our relationships.

topstuff profile image

topstuff 8 years ago

Sorry is very usual word and often doesn't satisfy when we are really hurt by someones act.

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amy jane 8 years ago from Connecticut Author

Hi Topstuff, I agree. "Sorry" is rarely enough for me!

Nicole Winter profile image

Nicole Winter 8 years ago from Chicago, IL

Wow! I totally agree with you. BTW, the blame-shifting, (that all too consistent, but,) in an apology <really irks me!> ... guys... you're not really apologizing at all when you're adding that one <tiny> word in! (And girls, too.) I never realized what an art there is to apologizing, it is something I do all too naturally.

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amy jane 8 years ago from Connecticut Author

Hi Nicole, I do it so naturally too! This book really clarified for me why I have trouble with the way other people attempt to apologize. I am so often unsatisfied! I forgive anyway, but it just isn't as easy.

torino70 profile image

torino70 8 years ago from Pueblo, Colorado

That was a great hub, very informative.

amy jane profile image

amy jane 8 years ago from Connecticut Author

Thanks torino70! :)

adeshwar profile image

adeshwar 8 years ago

saying sorry is also is an art, which people very rarely possess . Nice hub. loved it.

amy jane profile image

amy jane 8 years ago from Connecticut Author

Thanks adeshwar, it is indeed an art. Glad you liked it. :)

Hi Cat, yes, I think that is the most common cop-out in apologizing. Saying "I'm sorry you are upset" is not an apology at all. Thanks for reading. :)

torino70 profile image

torino70 8 years ago from Pueblo, Colorado

Where did that come from????

amy jane profile image

amy jane 8 years ago from Connecticut Author

Hi Torino - I just got rid of that strange comment...weird!

market solution profile image

market solution 8 years ago from Minneapolis, MN

If a person says I'm sorry and then continues to go on and on about what happened, it wasn't a sincere apology. The actions following an apology and the body language speak volumes as to whether it was sincere or not. I can always tell. Good hub. I wish more people would pay attention to things like this.

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amy jane 8 years ago from Connecticut Author

Hi market solution, I agree, body language also plays a big role in offering an apology. It makes things fairly clear if there is any question of sincerity. I'm glad you enjoed this. Thanks for adding your opinion!

betherickson profile image

betherickson 8 years ago from Minnesota

Hi Amy. Nice hub! Apologizing or accepting an apology really makes a heart lighter and brings warm feeling. :) Great information.

pcdriverupdate profile image

pcdriverupdate 8 years ago from VA

Interesting hub. Some people have a hard time forgiving, no matter how well the apology is performed. They just want to hold a grudge for spite. I think it also depends on the severity of the offense. If you have damaged trust so severly, you will be hard pressed to be easily forgiven and even if you are forgiven you may not get that trust back.

amy jane profile image

amy jane 8 years ago from Connecticut Author

Hi Beth, Thanks so much! An apology does lighten the heart!

pcdriverupdate, you are right, for some people forgiving is more difficult than apologizing. Being able to forgive lightens the heart as well, even if it doesn't include "forgetting" the offense. Thanks for reading and commenting.

blogit2050 profile image

blogit2050 8 years ago from india

reaaly nice piece of information...thanks

amy jane profile image

amy jane 8 years ago from Connecticut Author

You're welcome, blogit! Thanks for reading.

funwithtrains profile image

funwithtrains 8 years ago from USA

Great hub! It is so hard to apologize, and even harder to do it the right way -- thanks for teaching us how!

amy jane profile image

amy jane 8 years ago from Connecticut Author

You're very welcome, funwithtrains! I'm glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for reading. :)

childcen profile image

childcen 8 years ago from New Zealand

Just wanna let you know that i had a lot of fun just reading your post. I thoroughly enjoyed it :)

amy jane profile image

amy jane 8 years ago from Connecticut Author

Thank you childcen! Glad to hear you enjoyed this. :)

Madison Parker profile image

Madison Parker 8 years ago from California

amy jane,

Good article. We all goof up now and then and owning up to our blunders is a good thing. You're right though; too many apologies is like crying wolf!


amy jane profile image

amy jane 8 years ago from Connecticut Author

Hi Madison, I know from experience that apologizing too often isn't a good thing. It leads people to question your sincerity. Thanks for reading!

Green bags 8 years ago

Nice tips for Apologizing.

amy jane profile image

amy jane 8 years ago from Connecticut Author

Thank you!

shezz3085 profile image

shezz3085 8 years ago from Philippines

wow what a great hub! thanks for the tips on how to apologise with sincerity.

RGraf profile image

RGraf 8 years ago from Wisconsin

You are so right. I know I'm not the best at apologizing. So I need that book. As does everyone else, of course. Thanks for the lead.

countrywomen profile image

countrywomen 8 years ago from Washington, USA

Amy- I agree if we apologize with out being defensive and also make sure that we don't ever repeat the same mistake again then it would send the message that the apology was sincere in the first place. Great hub.

born to be free profile image

born to be free 8 years ago

Great Hub Amy. If we could all learn to do what we learn it would be a much nicer world.

amy jane profile image

amy jane 7 years ago from Connecticut Author

Thank you all for the comments. I'm so glad you found this apology advice helpful!

highway star profile image

highway star 7 years ago from Mostly Seattle, Amsterdam and Milan

Great Hub!

amy jane profile image

amy jane 7 years ago from Connecticut Author

Thanks Highway Star!

britneydavidson profile image

britneydavidson 7 years ago from united kingdom

hi amy...great hub...i have enjoyed reading it...its really good to apologise for your mistake that will make you relax and also the person to whom you are saying sorry.and thanx for adding some more imotion in this sorry word...i am sure it will work.thanx anyway....have a look for this one...i am sure you will like it....



amy jane profile image

amy jane 7 years ago from Connecticut Author

Thanks Britney, I'm glad you liked this. I will take a look at your hub too. :)

my-success-guru profile image

my-success-guru 7 years ago from Upstate NY

Hi Amy,

Great Hub! I absolutely love discovering (profound knowledge) something you can immediately apply to improve the quality of your life! This is what your Hub on

5 Ways To Apologize offers-quick to the point information that can greatly improve your relationships. Become a fan of mine and get your message out to everyone!

Take Care,


amy jane profile image

amy jane 7 years ago from Connecticut Author

Thanks so much Jim! I think a proper apology is easy to give once you understand how to do it. And it is so simple. :)

jayb23 profile image

jayb23 7 years ago from India

Hi Amy, lovely hub. Sometimes just by saying sorry, lots of problems do get resolved, ofcourse it should be sincere.

amy jane profile image

amy jane 7 years ago from Connecticut Author

Thanks Jayb23. Apologizing seems so simple, yet many people have trouble with it! It can resolve so many issues in our lives if we just learn to recognize when we are wrong. It opens the door for forgiveness.

prasadjain profile image

prasadjain 7 years ago from Tumkur

Good tips Amy,This has elicited too many rsponses.

amy jane profile image

amy jane 7 years ago from Connecticut Author

Thank you prasadjain. I am amazed how many comments this hub has gotten over the past year! They just keep coming. I think I really struck a cord.

aefrancisco profile image

aefrancisco 7 years ago from somewhere down the road

A great hub. I am enlightened!

noone 7 years ago

can anyone give me the email of the person in the video

i dunno if he's a doctor

plz i need his email

callmesplash7 7 years ago

Great Hub and I've always thought if you put a "but" n there you may as well stop your apology right there lol Thx! Julie

amy jane profile image

amy jane 7 years ago from Connecticut Author

Thank you all for the comments. You are right Julie, the "but" just ruins the apology!

jamesmoralde profile image

jamesmoralde 6 years ago from Florida, USA

nice hub amy!

amy jane profile image

amy jane 6 years ago from Connecticut Author

Thanks James!

Ebenezer Annang 6 years ago

great material

dawn 6 years ago

I love this advice as i do need to apologize to my sister-in-law, BUT my problem is she owes me one too, and I'm not sure I will get one. Never the less I WILL give her the very sincere apology she does deserve. I guess after that time will tell what happenens. What does happen when you don't get the apology you expect after moving heaven and earth to make sure they get theirs?

Shetland Sheepdog 6 years ago

Huh? I don't get this. Wait, is this page for adults?

Winsome profile image

Winsome 6 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas

Hi Amy, let's see if I got this right--

"Why should I be sorry when you were the one who wore the way-too-tight pants? You should be glad I was honest so no one else has to see you that way and yes, you can count on me being just that candid in the future. No, you don't have to thank me but I would like you to apologize for saying I was insensitive because you know I am sensitive to a fault. If you rub my back I will forgive you."

I think that hits all 5 Wrong Ways to Apologize. =:)

Thank you for a great article, as you can see I can definitely use it.

multifunctions profile image

multifunctions 6 years ago from India

thats awesome . very good thoughtful article. do you know there is a festival of apologizing in INDIA . its KSHAMAVANI. (words of apologizing). people apologize all their kith and kins and friends and colleagues for the bad words , feelings,doings and everything else wrong knowingly or unknowingly hurt in the last year till that day and wish and ask for a fresh new start .

faith03 profile image

faith03 6 years ago

Nice, well written article! Apologizes are important and should be said whole heartedly, not half.

Thanks for sharing!

amy jane profile image

amy jane 6 years ago from Connecticut Author

Lol, Winsome, you have it exactly right!

Multifunctions - I love the idea of an entire day set aside for apologizing. I'm going to have to look up that festival to learn more. Thank you for sharing!

Faith03 - thanks! I agree. A half-hearted apology doesn't do anybody much good.

FaithDream profile image

FaithDream 5 years ago from (Midwest) USA

Great article.Dr.Gary Chapman is one of my favorites.

I love what you said, without an apology the bond will always be broken.

It's like a dark shadow hanging over the relationship.

Thanks for sharing.

Answersinwriting 5 years ago

I really liked this article. It brought up so many good points. Each person is unique. When we are apologizing to them,it is really necessary to give the apology to them in the way that will mean the most to them. It must be honest and come from the heart. We all have had an apology that has felt vacant. It almost makes it worse. I also liked how well you combined humor and advice. You are an excellent writer. I look forward to reading your other hubs.

TimeHealsAll profile image

TimeHealsAll 5 years ago from Las Vegas, Nevada

I think an apology should emphasize exactly what a person is sorry for, if they are truly sorry, because one is left to wonder if one truly recognizes a wrong one has caused someone. To me an "I'm sorry" leaves an apoligy empty/bottomless/without form. There is no constructive substance to it. Even an apoligy that says "Im sorry for anything or whatever I may have done to you" is worthless because there is no meaning ie; Anything and whatever is just "that" and is not specific and shows one that the person who is apoligizing isn't giving one the time of day which only makes things worse. I think there should be specific's addressed in an apoligy for it to be construed as heartfelt and genuine. I also believe when apoligies are addressed this way, it is because one is dealing with a person who is prone to too much pride/ego/stubborness. Great hub and a must read!

Judah's Daughter profile image

Judah's Daughter 5 years ago from Roseville, CA

I love how you are so real about this subject. First, you said you bought the book for your husband, then you didn't buy the book for your husband (lol). That shows awesome humility. While insincere apologies are meaningless and hurtful, if everyone focused more on his/her own responsibility when it comes to apologizing, the world would be a better place.

htodd profile image

htodd 5 years ago from United States

Great hub,Thanks for the hub

mary.jane profile image

mary.jane 5 years ago

excellent hub amy jane.

adresses precisely one of my biggest faults - apologizing.

usually when i make a mistake in a relationship, my first port of call is to justify it, more often than not by shifting the blame on the other person.

sometimes, i find myself simply walking away from a friendship just because i am too proud to admit i was wrong.

this is really eye opening, many thanks.

all the best


love is hurt 5 years ago

Great hub, I really enjoyed reading this one. I will be sharing this with my facebook followers! Apologizing is so important to a person, just the recognition that you have hurt or upset them can go a long way in healing your relationship. People are too stubborn and it ends up ruining otherwise good relationships.

hue 5 years ago

3. Are there ways other than using words that you can apologize?

Margo 5 years ago

I found it's hard to say "I'm sorry" for most of the people.Am I surrounded by people as shallow as frying pan ? Or I'm old fashion and its not in style any more ? Perhaps I'm not valued ?

dawa haaps 5 years ago

i usually say sorry for the inconvenience, but sometime our apology doesn't make any sense thinking that, it's a great insult and damping enthusiasm in others...i am really into the above suggestions. Thank you.

Kendrick kendy 5 years ago

Sometimes to say i m sorry for what i have done, i won't do it again is nice but it makes know sence when one didn't accepet it. Thanks.

sasher tapy 5 years ago

i hert my sister so badly that she dident talk to me for 5 weeks and i was realy anoyed with my self and shes my only sister i have 4 brothers and i only see two of them it was hard saying good bye and i wasent propared to say good bye to this one so i writ her a note saying sorry and it realy helped we are now best frainds and shes moving to colige this year so good look amy

Christy Stewart profile image

Christy Stewart 5 years ago from Oklahoma

What are the 5 ways to apologize?

LawlzerBeam 5 years ago

I'm about to write a philosophy paper on "forgiveness and apology." Before I started I decided to do a quick google search. This page popped up near the top. It's an interesting topic but I have to say your insights are really only a surface level justice to the topic. There are so many other things to consider, things that rationally would oppose some of your advice (such as forgiving in the absence of an apology, or at the least questioning whether what you're doing is apologizing at all...it's more likely to be forgetting or excusing). I suppose simple, jack-of-all-trades/master-of-none type advice columns are just what the American pop-crazed culture really wants. I hope some of your readers will dig a little deeper into a topic that requires so much more consideration.

Kells Nathan 5 years ago

Best Apology Ideas (...and worst)

Be an Apology Star! Many of the thousands of visitors we get each month are looking for great apology ideas to deal with their own personal crisis. Learning how others successfully resolved their mistakes is an effective way to pick up important apology ideas to begin mending fences in your own personal or business life.

With this in mind, the PA team decided it would be a great idea to include a section on our site inviting our visitors to submit great Apology Ideas, or bad ones to help push us in a different direction.

One of the best ideas we received in the past was to add a little something extra to ones apology by naming a star after the person you've hurt.

Of course, a gesture such as naming a star may not be appropriate for all mistakes, but, for many situations, we believe it will go a long way towards satisfying key elements of a perfect apology—the gesture is very thoughtful and obviously takes some time and effort, which means the relationship is important to you and worthy of mending.

So, this is the place to share your successes and failures, tell us your story or share your ideas, and help our visitors improve their apologies.

If you've received a great apology tell us about it …

Was it written or verbal? Did it come with a gift? A song? A poem? Was it romantic? What made it special?

If you received an apology that really stunk.... let us know about that too! We can all learn from others' mistakes... and we all love to comment on those!

If you've given a great apology, inspire us and let us know how clever you are!

And if the apology you gave flopped... get other people's opinions on why and maybe some of our readers can help you make things right again.

Alex 4 years ago

i made one of my friends mad because i got him in trouble with the principal..hes my crush and i really want to apologize to him hes my homie and i love him but i cant just say im sorry.... Thanks Mr.Chapman :)

johnny 4 years ago

i screamed at my gf ,,, we split up after that ,for five month we did not speak at all ,,, a month back we started to chatting ,,, she is 600 miles away ,,, we decided to give us a new start ,, i have told and written to her how deeply sorry i am ,,,i have not been able yet to giive her a proper sorry as we still far apart ,,,she is always bringing up the night i screamed at her ,,which i have given a four stage applogy for ,i feel she wont let go wont forgive Help what can i do . we like yo yo s every time we get a bit seriois she lets me have it with how i hurt her ,,, I just want to stop living in the past

ashleybunn profile image

ashleybunn 4 years ago from South Carolina

Strange knowing how to simply apologize can elude us sometimes. This is very good advice.

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