Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
Wellness > Mental Health

Apparently “Apology Languages” are a Thing??

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Hofstra chapter.

Most people have heard of love languages, but have you heard of apology languages? While this information might not improve your Sorry! gameplay, it just might add another level to your friendships. 

The 5 types of apology languages (both how you apologize and how you would like people to apologize) are:

  • expressing regret

  • accepting responsibility

  • making restitution

  • genuinely repenting

  • requesting forgiveness

Let’s break them down.

Expressing Regret

In its simplest form, the “Expressing Regret” apology language involves simply saying “I’m sorry.” An apology in this category validates how the person feels and shows that the person offering the apology feels truly sorry for what they’ve done. This focuses on the emotional impact of both giving and receiving the apology.

Accepting Responsibility

Apologies in this category admit wrongdoing. A person might say “I was wrong to think/say/do this,” state what they did incorrectly, and refrain from making excuses.  They take ownership of their actions.

Making Restitution

Making restitution involves taking steps to make up for what happened. During these apologies, a person will show that they’re going to follow through with what they’re saying. A person who values this category will seek actions to repair the relationship, whether that involves supporting the other in the future or replacing a broken object. Someone might say “How can I make this up to you?”

Genuinely Repenting

A person whose apology language is genuinely repenting looks to see that someone is making legitimate steps to change their behavior. They want to see that the person is taking the lessons they’ve learned to heart and wants to avoid making the same mistakes in the future. Apologies in this language might look like: “I’m so sorry I’ve hurt you, in the future, I will…”

Requesting Forgiveness

“Will you forgive me?” is an extremely valuable question for those whose apology language is requesting forgiveness. Asking shows that the person is willing to be vulnerable, and gives the person that they are apologizing to the power to cope with the situation in the way that is best for them.

By seeking to understand all five categories, not just our own, we can better our relationships with others, both in how we accept apologies and how we apologize. Paying attention to the different styles shows that we care about the people around us and respect the fact that people accept apologies differently.


I took the test here and learned that my apology language is accepting responsibility. I also made all of my friends take the quiz, and learned that some of them share ‘accepting responsibility,’ others have ‘expressing regret’ as their apology language. In the future, I will keep an eye out when apologizing so I can make sure they know I’m thinking about them.


How do you plan on using your apology language next?

Anna DeGoede

Hofstra '24

Anna is a journalism major with a passion for true crime, Minecraft and good food. When she isn't writing for HerCampus or The Hofstra Chronicle, Anna plays the trumpet and crochets.