Apology Styles

In this podcast episode, Mark and Justin discuss the five apology languages, which are similar to the five love languages. They talk about how important it is to understand your own apology language and the apology language of the people you care about. They also discuss how pride and guilt can sometimes get in the way of apologizing effectively, and offer some tips for overcoming these obstacles. We hope this episode provides helpful information about our natural apology styles and how to use new tools to improve your communication with others.

Show Notes



Would you say you were born ready?
Definitely not born ready.

I am getting ready and it takes me longer the older.
Because I just realized I even forgot my glasses.

I didn’t forget them there.
That’s funny because I was gonna say, how hard can it be?

Because you got shorts and a t-shirt and then you said the glasses.

Yeah, you know what? It’s a good point.

Because the older you get, the more you get it.




Yeah, I used to think I didn’t need to accessorize.

But now I’m starting to understand that sometimes–

Sometimes you like to be able to see what you wrote.

I do.

I do.

That’s a handy thing to be able to do.

Yeah, no doubt.


Welcome to How I See It With Me.

Mark Pratt and Justin Sternberg.

This is a podcast that works to counter cultural polarization through thoughtful conversations.

Speaking of what you wrote, yeah, he’s got, he’s got his, uh, this is uncharacteristic.

That’s right.

He’s got a tablet in front of him.

And when I say tablet, I mean what Mark means when he says tablet.


That’s true.

Which is one of those flip over notebooks.

the cheap kind, no one ever likes to write in.

But Mark, that’s his favorite.

Yeah, so when you hear that fluttering of pages,

it’s not just my fingers going across the screen silently.

When I say no one likes, I shouldn’t say that.

I have no idea.

But I always hated those notebooks because of the flip over nature.

It’s like, really?

Yeah, I don’t know why.


I just have negative thoughts towards them.

Now see, I can, I think, you know, being able to write it down just helps me to be able to

keep it better. Well, yeah, I’m more specifically referring to the vertical form.

Yeah, I understand the format that I’m using, but it’s like, yeah, I just, I would get more

frustrated by your format just because I’m not used to it. Yeah. And that would be a distraction

for me. Yeah. So yes, but that’s just another way that we’re different, but still value one

~ That’s right, that’s right.

I mean, if it’s not clear, I think it’s awesome

that you have a flip over notebook that you think,

that’s what I’m just thinking.

It’s like, that’s how we’re different.

~ That’s right.

So speaking of differences, are you different than Megan?

Am I, how am I not different?

~ Okay. – Yeah, of course.

I’m getting out my tablet.

~ Oh, I sense a little tablet jealousy here.


you were feeling naked in comparison.

~ That’s right, that’s right.

~ Yeah.

~ Yes.

~ But are you different than Meg?

~ Yes, very different.

~ Okay.

~ I mean, there’s some, yeah, obviously,

the way we think about things were aligned

in a lot of things, but–

~ Sure.

~ But also, the way we think about things

were not a lot, yeah, so very different.

~ And I think that’s where I’m at today,

is the way we think about things is different.

I think, you know, in our podcast,

desire is to create an understanding.

How long does it take you to start your tablet?


It’s as long as it takes me to find a pen or a pencil,

typically a pen.

But you have to flip through several pages.

Oh no, I do.

I typically keep it.

I typically keep it to an open page.

That way I’m almost ready for the thing

’cause each page is a file, if you will.

But how does it not flip back on you?

Well, it’s because I just lay it down like this.

I see it.


Unless a strong wind comes up and just blows the whole thing.

You know, any notebook at that point, susceptible.

Well, yours would probably be a little less susceptible than mine.

Unless it rained.

But both of ours would be a problem.

Both of ours would be.

I’m sorry, I interrupted you.

You were saying I don’t even know anymore

because I interrupted you.

Because you’re different.

You think differently than Megan.


And you are different than Megan.

And I think when we are able to recognize

those differences aren’t bad,

we’re far more able to understand where our spouse

or other people are coming from.

~ Yeah.

~ And recently, or like to say, maybe I’ll go back,

are you familiar with Gary Chapman’s five love languages?

I know we’ve talked about love styles, but love languages.


~ Yeah, and in fact, we linked to it in one of the episodes.

~ Oh, there you go.

~ Way back, I think.

~ We probably did.

~ I know we didn’t do an episode called

the Five Love Languages, but I know we talked about it

and I can’t remember what 20 was.

~ That’s all right.

~ But how many we have now?

~ Well, speaking of that,

could you name the five languages?

~ Okay, gifts.

~ Okay.

~ Putting my thumb up here and half.

~ Yes, it’s got a thumb up.

~ Yeah, all right, one down.

~ There’s five.

~ Yes, affirmations or words.

~ Words of affirmation. – Thank you.

~ Yep.

~ Time spent.

~ Quality time. – Quality time.

~ Touch.

~ Yep, physical touch.

~ And…

Dang it.

~ Linda’s yelling.


She’s got it.

~ Oh by the way, it’s Linda’s birthday today.

~ Happy birthday, Linda.

~ That’s right.

~ It won’t be when you listen to this.

~ No, but yeah.

~ Hopefully you do listen to this,

but what is it, Linda?

Give me a hint.


It begins with an A.

~ Ah.


~ That’s close.

~ I’ll take it. – That’s so service.

~ Exactly.

~ Ah, so service.

~ Okay, yeah, I think, yeah.

~ Yeah.

~ I don’t think that one jumped out

because of the time spent, I think sometimes

I complete those.

~ Okay.


~ And a, and a different.

~ Quality time is that a desire to be with someone.

~ Yeah, that makes sense.

~ You know, even if it’s just, I shouldn’t say just.

even if it’s sitting on a couch, you know,

watching a movie together.

That can be quality time.

Yeah, it’s not, you know,

but acts of service is, you know, I recognize–

You meet me as family?

Yeah, yeah, just–

Yeah, I realize you’ve had a long day

and I can do these things, maybe not as well as you,

but when I do these things, it reflects the fact that,

you know, I’m thinking about you and I care

to do these things in some ways that

you don’t necessarily have to.

And it just reflects the fact.

And same way with gifts.

It reflects the fact in some ways

that I was doing something and I thought about you.

So that kind of thing.

~ It’s funny how you just described a couple of them

and you described them from an outward view.

‘Cause that’s how Mark is, he’s loving.

~ I’m sorry, I’m almost–

~ I’m out of them from my perspective,

like what I like to get.


And that’s how I am folks.

Let’s move on from loving.

What’s your point, Mark?

We’ve already talked about love languages.

~ We have, but it seems like we still got a ways to go

because we need to, we need to.

~ It’s called how we love, not how they love.

~ But we need to recognize that those gifts are reciprocal.

~ Yeah.

~ Because I do tend to want to give.

~ Things that I tend to want to give.

And that’s what makes it a language.

~ Yeah, and the work is to give what they want in.

And that’s the work.

~ Yeah.


~ No, that being said, Gary Chapman did further research

and that’s where, you know, it may break down

a little bit for me because I’ll have to look back at notes

and that kind of thing.

But I thought it was fascinating.

Have you ever in the process of loving Megan, okay?

Have you ever got to a point where you made a mistake?

~ Let me think.

~ You have to think that long?


~ That’s the joke, of course, yeah.

~ You’ve made mistakes.

And there’s even been a part of you

that fully acknowledges you made a mistake.

~ Mm, yeah.

~ And as hard as you try.

I don’t like where we’re going with this.

Justin’s feeling uncomfortable.

As hard as you try to apologize,

it just seems like you’re not saying it correctly.

There’s something that’s getting lost in the translation.

~ So in our relationship,

it tends to go the other way.

I don’t let her out the hook with us.

-Sorry. -Okay.

Because what you’re describing,

I know exactly what you’re saying

and it looks exactly like that in reverse.

-Okay. -And it’s not because

it’s not for her lack of trying.

-Okay. -Yes.

-That’s a great– -Yes.

-I know the situation you’re referring to.

-It just typically happens in the other direction

versus where I was trying to put you in a corner.

No, but being in– -That’s all right.

I’m in a corner still, just the other corner.

That being said, I want to, with that mindset of love language, okay, I want to recognize Gary

Chapman’s research developed that there are five apology languages.

And I kind of pause your quick. Is that the same thing as love languages in that there’s,

it’s bidirectional, like I may apologize. Yes. The way I apologize, maybe it isn’t the way

the person wants to receive upon you. That’s exactly right. Okay. Interesting.

In other words, when I apologize, I’m going to apologize in a certain way.

But I’m also likely wanting other people to apologize to me in that way. I’m thinking about

Justin at this point. So I got to go from me perspective to others perspective and vice versa.

Well, and this is perfect.

The one example we just talked about where I don’t let her off very easy.

She wants that for me instant forgiveness, then let’s talk about it.


Right. And I’m like, that’s not the same.

That’s not forgiveness.

So this is great.


And I think so often, and I think if you’re in any relationship,

this is kind of interesting to think about.


And maybe this may be a podcast you may have to listen to more than once,

but at the same time, the information is there and you can even go on Gary Chapman’s site to be able to

~ and we’ll link to it. – Yeah, you’ll be just like you’re able to find your love language,

you’re able to find your apology language as well to recognize, okay, I’m one or more of the five

and being able to because as we talk about it a little more, I think it’s gonna make sense.

~ It already does. – Yeah, well,


But, and so out of characteristic,

I want you to feel free to make this a conversation,

but I’m gonna kinda go through the five

in such a way that–

~ Is it okay if I interject?

~ Of course, of course, and I want you to be able to.

It’s just, I think, you know, it’s gonna make sense.

~ ‘Cause I’ll also just be quiet

if you’d like to get through something.

~ I don’t necessarily like to hear my voice that long.

~ I’m pretty bad at being just quiet,

So I don’t know.

It’s like.

~ So first apology style, okay?

~ Number one.

I got my thumb up.

~ Number one, yes, is expressing regret.

~ Okay.

~ Okay.

~ All right.

~ I want to be able to hear that, you know,

simply saying, simply saying, I’m sorry, isn’t enough.

When you said that about Megan, you want something more.

If this is your style, you want something more

than just sorry.

You and it’s interesting ’cause in my office,

I’ll hear these different styles from different people

and I’ve experienced them even in a relationship with Chris.

But unfortunately, and we talk about this too,

we did pride a while back, didn’t we?

~ That red and red.

~ That was the last, that was the one.

~ Yeah.

~ Yes, so the time you hear this,

there will be a few ago.

~ So pride and guilt.

Okay, sometimes get in the way.

~ Yeah.

~ Of us being able to express regret.

Okay, but that aside, okay,

a person who has this style wants to hear

that you have a heartfelt desire

to acknowledge what you did wrong.

~ Yeah.

~ You follow me?

You’re willing to take ownership.

And it doesn’t, and here’s where it’ll come into play sometimes.

It doesn’t help if it just seems

that you’re sorry for getting caught.

~ Yeah.

~ You follow me, there’s a difference there.

If you’re just sorry because you got caught,

that’s different than expressing heartfelt regret.

That given that opportunity, I do it differently.

And I recognize that what I did had an effect on you.

~ Yeah.

~ You follow me?

~ Yeah.

~ And I’m remorseful about that.

And so here again, I’m good.

~ And sometimes the words, I’m sorry, don’t even matter.

If this is what you care about.

~ That’s correct. – You can’t express regret.

That’s good enough.

I hear the apology in it.

~ Yes. – Thing that.

~ Because I relate to this one.


~ So that being said, I’m gonna express like three ideas.

This might be you if type thing as far as that goes.

It’s might be you if you want someone

to acknowledge the hurt they caused, okay?

And you want someone to generally express the regret

of their actions and you desire to feel validated

in your emotions, okay?

Ding, ding, ding, all three.

One, two, three punch.

So just as a disappointment.

I didn’t know this was gonna be so uncomfortable.

But you’re doing a great job.

So that’s– – I feel seen and targeted

at the same time. – Do you really?

You’re feeling very vulnerable at the moment,

but know that we’re here to help in that process.

So, hold up two fingers. – Number two.

Number two. – Number two.

~ Up in the pointer finger. – Yup, good deal.

Accepting responsibility.

And I’m gonna recognize these are nuanced.

~ Yeah. – You know,

but I think it’s important in our relationship

to be able to recognize that diversity.

When someone earnestly admits they were wrong

to do what they did, along with acknowledging their fault

in the situation.

You follow me?

So it’s about the responsibility,

not necessarily the regret.

You follow me?

There’s a difference because a person might want to look at,

you know, okay, this is what I did.

~ So it’s like, I’m not sorry about what happened,

but I accept that what I did is causing this.

~ Yes. – Circumstance.

~ So basically naming the mistake.

And I’m able to, you know, it’s easier,

it’s easier in some ways, okay,

to be able to say you were right than I was wrong.

You follow me? – Yeah.

~ But when I’m able to admit I was wrong

and I’m taking responsibility for it,

that carries more weight than just acknowledging you were right.

You ever have that in your conversations with someone?


Do you have more bullet points?

I think I need more.

Yeah, no problem at all.

So you may be, this may be your style.

If you want people to take ownership of the hurt they caused, taking that responsibility,

and you want someone to clearly state what they did wrong to prove they can learn from

the mistake.

You follow me?


For me, it’s hard to differentiate this one from number one.


They almost feel.

And that’s why we’re going to go through all five.


I’m starting to receive based on the second one that there are some overlappers, like

some nuanced to it.


All right.

And the difference in responsibility that you don’t want to hear excuses.


‘Cause if someone’s just giving you excuses,

it’s not like they’re, you don’t feel

as if they’re accepting responsibility.

~ Yeah, it’s interesting ’cause I’m processing my own,

like how do I think about this?

And I think for me, yeah, I think I’m definitely number one

in the sense that if you express some excuses,

but you truly express the regret for what happened,

I’m okay with the excuses, I can let those slide.

You can understand.

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

But I can see how it could be the other way where you’re,

I don’t care if you regret, you know, whatever,

it cares that you see how to change it, you know.

And I go ahead, sorry.

I was gonna say, I have done, I do that to a degree as well.

So I could, but like wanting to believe that

the regret translates into

and understanding for the future, right?

~ Yeah.

~ So.

~ And I think that’s what makes this so interesting

because I think we’ve all been in those moments

where I’m trying to say I’m sorry to the best of my ability

but it just seems as if it gets lost in the translation

because that other person is looking for something different

than I’m giving them.

~ Yeah.

~ And I may very well be willing to take full responsibility

but I’m not necessarily demonstrating a regret to you

that says, I am sorry for the inconvenience

that created for you.

And the effect that it had on you in that process.

Does that make sense?

And that’s why I’m saying,

this is gonna be a little bit of a nuanced thing

and you’re gonna be mad at smiling

because you maybe think of the fact

that sometimes I’m perfectly willing to forgive

and tell someone starts to apologize.

~ Oh.

~ And it’s like, wait a second.

~ Okay.


~ So yeah, carry on.

But that’s funny.

~ Yeah.

And this one’s a little different too,

in the sense number three,

is the ability to make restitution, okay?

~ Mm, okay.

~ Different from responsibility,

but I’m willing to make restitution,

including finding a way to correct the situation.

You follow me?

I think that’s where people fall into issue.

~ What if I want all of these so far?

(both laughing)

~ Well, I think so often it will be,

how often have we heard,

well, you’re not sorry because you keep doing the same thing.

You haven’t done anything different.

You follow me?

And it demonstrates that I’m not sorry,

if I’m not willing to make restitution,

but it almost comes down to,

if something is broken or lost or stolen,

that person because of what you did,

you’re willing to make restitution or replace

or pay for that inconvenience.

~ But isn’t that different than…

I have to sneeze.

~ Oh.


~ Bless you.

~ I think that’s how I see it first.

~ I sneeze on air. – A sneeze on air.

~ Oh wow.

~ I’m not gonna cut that out.

~ So. (laughs)

~ You could definitely find it in the audio though.

It’s definitely going to be a little spike.


Um, isn’t it different to say I want to see that you’ll make it right right now versus I want to see you make it right permanently.



So I could, I could see number two and number three being distinct in that number two sounds like.

I’m, I can, I’m more confused.


You are.

I’m taking responsibility to the degree that I know that I made that mistake and I can again and like kind of.

accepting the future part of it where the restitution is,

well, I’ll make it right right now.

Pay you that $5 or whatever,

and then your conscience is clear,

but that doesn’t mean it sticks.

What are you thinking?

~ I know, and I’m hearing where you’re coming from.

And I think timing plays into all five of these.

~ Okay.

~ You follow me?

What it looks like and how soon I need to do something,

or how soon something needs to happen,

not become more evident in five,

but being able to recognize that, you know,

an apology is this nuanced thing.

~ Yeah.

~ You follow me.

~ Yeah.

~ And being able to understand our differences,

I think it just helps us speak it better.

And that’s where I was excited to be able

to kind of share this.

And actually, Lizzie, you know,

brought my attention to this.

It was something they did in like with their,

with their RAs.

~ Oh, cool.

~ You know, to be able to, you know,

to, as you develop leadership, you know,

you want, you want, you want to create that awareness

that how different styles come into play.

And I think when we think about restitution,

we can think about those things and doing it quickly,

but being able to recognize betrayal

can be a part of that too,

in such a way that makes it up to them.

You follow me?

In other words, that person’s saying,

okay, I realize I did this.

How can I make it up to you?

That’s restitution speaking versus responsibility.

Does that make sense like that?

~ Yeah, I see that distinction.

~ Yeah, so being able to recognize, okay, yeah, this took,

and so you may, making restitution, maybe your language,

if you want someone to prove,

they’re willing to correct a problem.

~ Yeah.

~ Okay, kind of that,

putting your money where your mouth is type thing.

~ Yeah.

~ Okay, and you might be,

if you find it important for the person that offended you

to make things right again.

Okay, this is what I need to see from you,

going forward, that kind of thing.

And you want someone to take the lead.

I thought that was good in this process too.

Being able to, you know, restitution,

being able to see, I did this wrong.

How can I make it up to you?

In other words, that person’s basically

willing to acknowledge it,

and they’re being forthright about coming to you.

~ Yeah.

~ Does that make sense?

~ Yep.

~ So that’s three.

~ It’s interesting as we’re talking,

we kind of are flip-flopping back and forth

between the forgive or the apologizer

and the apologizer.

~ Sure.

~ And when we talk about it,

’cause it’s, you know, you kind of have to describe it

from both directions to really get a good grasp of it.

~ Sure.

~ ‘Cause you said someone who,

Apology left dial is about making restitution expects you as the apologizer to take the lead

right yes, and as

The if that’s your love style that typically what you’ll do

I think great is like you take the lead like I’m gonna make this right to you and let me get my bill fold

Yep bill fold Wow. Oh, where’d that come from?

I don’t think I’ve ever said bill fold in my life tell them. It’s just sounded like old timey Western

I’m gonna you know pay for your fence. I’m gonna get my bill full. I

Put your money where your mouth is okay. Yes. No, that’s fair enough

So here we go number four number four. We got four fingers up number four is genuinely

repenting okay

Repenting requires a change in behavior. Sorry is not enough

Okay, engage in the problem solving and don’t make excuses

~ That sounds like a combination of all of that.

~ I’m hearing you.

~ Sorry.

~ But being able to make a better or specific plan

for change and a sincere desire to do so.

~ Yeah, plan.

~ Okay.

~ So that’s showing a genuine repentance

in that process that I am willing to,

what I’m saying is I recognize I did this

to that degree and I’m implementing this to let you know

that it is my desire for it not to happen.




Bless you.

That makes two.

Justin’s allergic to apology.


That’s what it is.


No, but–

There’s so much to that more.

So much.

Carry on.

A sincere desire to do better.


And you may be, that may be your style,

if you need proof, someone is growing

and working towards change.

Okay, I need to see, you know, what you’re doing.

~ Yeah.

~ It’s not enough that you’re telling me you’re sorry.

I want to see that there’s a desire to implement change.

And you need assurance, you want to,

you won’t be let down again or next time around.


And that person’s ability to develop that plan

is part of that.

Not that you won’t be let down,

but you want, you’re trying to avoid being let down.

And I think that’s a difficult thing for some people

in this process of being able to recognize growth.

‘Cause I think so often it comes back to, you know,

people want to say, okay, yeah, you’re acknowledging it,

but it won’t happen again.

~ Yeah. – You follow me?

you know, and we’ll deal with this, you know,

with addictions even at times,

that ability to be able to say, hey,

how are you developing a plan?

~ What’s different, yeah.

~ How is it gonna be different going forward?

And because this is another good clarification,

words aren’t enough.

~ Yeah.

~ I wanna see action, I wanna see a change

because words aren’t enough.

~ Yeah, let me break that down.

So, expressing regret words can be enough.

Accepting responsibility words can be enough.

Ability to make restitution maybe not.

~ Yeah, yeah, valid point.

~ Well, I’m just, I feel like there’s a progression there.

And I think genuinely repenting is definitely words,

aren’t it?

~ Yeah.

~ Can you make restitution without,

which is words, probably not, right?

~ Well, I think it’s, yeah.

~ I mean, in an aspect of betrayal,

I probably could because there might not necessarily

be a specific action or a monetary exchange being able to recognize, you know, the restitution,

it’s about my ability to make up for it. How can I make up for it, you know, in that process

when I think about restitution? Okay.

Are we getting the fifth finger? We got all our digits up. Our whole hand is up.

And then the fifth one, and it seems kind of overarching,

like you’re saying, requesting forgiveness.


And it involves allowing the other person

to process her before assuming everything is back to normal.

And I think that’s where I was coming to the fifth one.

The fifth one really is about timing.

Because I think so often, you know,

being able to say, “I’m so sorry for letting you down.

Can you find in your heart to forgive me?”

You follow me?

I’m willing to put the words in the play,

but I’m also willing to recognize

you may need time to be able to do so.

Because what I did–

~ That’s the healthy version of this.

~ Yeah.

~ The unhealthy version is,

“I need you to forgive me right now.”

~ Yes.

~ Maybe that person can’t get there,

but that’s your style.

So you are not gonna leave till they forgive you.

~ Yes.

~ Yeah, interesting.

~ And so are you–

~ ‘Cause it’s probably like a lot of things where there’s

like a continuum of good bad versions of these.

~ Sure.

~ The worst version looks like this,

the best version looks like this.

Does that make sense?

~ Yeah, and I’m just thinking in hindsight,

I should have, we should have taken this beforehand

and it might have made a little more sense

for it to be able to talk.

Yeah, the quiz ahead of time, because I did do it a while ago,

but that’s how long it’s been.

And I’m not even sure what my language is still at this point.

But I think what made it so neat for me in this process,

oh, I wanna, I’m sorry, oh, being able to say,

I’m sorry for letting you down.

Can you find your heart to give me?

I think that puts power back into the relationship

in such a way that the hurt individual

is able to hear that.

You follow me?

I’m giving, I made a mistake.

I chose to do something that hurt you.

Now I’m also giving you that power back

to be able to forgive me.

~ And I would say that’s on the healthy side of the continuum.

~ Sure, yeah.

~ Yeah.

And that being said, so it leaves room for that.

You might be, this might be your saying,

if you’re a person that’s not quite ready to reconcile,

you know, that person that needs a little more time,

Or you need more from the apology and you want the space to ask for it.

In other words, you’re hearing that person right now, but you might need a little more

clarification on a few issues.

You might need a little more information at times.

Yeah, or space.

Or space, yes.

In other words, it’s more about processing.

I might need some time.

you need to know the person apologizing,

like you said earlier, is willing to wait.

You follow me?

Like you were saying,

I need you to forgive me right now.

~ Yeah.

~ So yeah.

~ Interesting.

~ Those are the five styles.

~ So I had a thought.

~ Sure.

~ ‘Cause I feel like,

just like in each of these styles,

I was saying there’s kind of a continuum,

maybe of good and bad versions.

I also feel like, ’cause so–

~ Tell me what you’re thinking, Joe.

~ At Celebrate Recovery,

we have to talk about what our struggle is.

And one of the things I talk about often is resentment.

That’s just kind of an ongoing struggle of mine.

And I feel like that being a weakness in me

or a struggle that I kind of continue to experience in my life,

I think all of these are a lot.

Well, and I think that’s what I have to say.


Is my wife is easy to forgive, easy to apologize.

And I feel like she struggles with very few of these

in terms of expectation.

So the receiving end, the apologizing end.

And so what I think from an apologizing end, right?

I think I want all of these things to some degree.

And I think in some ways, I think the level of hurt

we experience would probably branch out a little more.

If I forgot to take the trash out,

that’s gonna be a little different than having an affair

or something to that degree,

because I think I’m just gonna be more aware

and I’m gonna need more based on the level of hurt

that I experienced.

~ So if you’re looking at a four.

~ X, Y, X, right?

One axis is amount of pain and that amount of hurt

in the other one might be time and repeat offenses.

~ Sure.

~ ‘Cause that affects it too, right?

Like the more time there’s been

and the more repeat offenses,

the more this list grows probably like a–

~ Likely, yeah.

~ Yeah.

~ Like I’ll need more time to forgive you

if you’ve done it 10 times then if you’ve done it once.

And I’ll actually wanna see genuine repentance

if it’s a pattern.

~ Yeah.

~ Right and right, you can go through all these

and see how they will grow,

probably grow over time if the offense continues

in a repeat fashion.

~ And I think what made this neat for me is

I can recognize or I can think of specific times.

Of course, I’ve made mistakes in my relationship with Chris

but I can respect the fact that so often

what I desired to communicate,

I was starting to think about what it was.

Oh, I had a, this was a bad habit on my part.

I wouldn’t necessarily take responsibility

for what I did.

Okay, where Chris was concerned,

I would say something to the effect of,

I’m sorry I made you feel that way.

You follow me?

~ Oh, I follow, yeah.

~ Yeah, and I think so often,

that’s where it kind of breaks down

and being able to honestly communicate

that I regret what I did versus I’m sorry I got caught

and you got upset at me.

Those are different things.

~ Yes, they are, yeah.

I feel like we could branch out into what not to say.

~ Oh yeah, oh yeah.

~ ‘Cause I think there’s definitely some,

That’s one, I think, right?

Would you agree?

You probably never should say that I’m sorry,

that I made you feel that way.

I mean, I don’t, I can’t think of a scenario where

that’s probably the, I don’t know, I’m, I’m, I’m,

you don’t see a scenario where that’s the thing.

~ Yeah, it seems like that’s probably not a good way

to apologize, pretty much ever.

~ That’s correct.

~ Okay. – I agree.

~ I get, I have to, I had to, I learned this one

the hard way.

~ Yeah, it’s because it minimizes what I did.

~ Yeah, yeah, yeah.

~ It minimizes what I did.

~ Well, not only does it minimize what I did,

it really puts the blame on you.

~ The blame on the other person.

~ If you weren’t a better person, this wouldn’t hurt you.

So I’m sorry that you’re not a better person.

~ Yeah, it puts the blame on the other person

instead of taking responsibility for it.

If you weren’t so sensitive, you wouldn’t be upset.

~ And what’s interesting too about these love styles,

or these apology styles, is sometimes

the way we’re apologizing is genuine,

but it’s red as it’s disingenuous.

Right, so you probably were truly sorry

when you said it, but-

~ But I will under recognize I could still be wrestling

with that pride dynamic in such a way that,

And granted that, I think that’s where the frustration came into me for me,

because awareness wasn’t there and it took me years.

Sorry, I’m a slow learner, but it took me years to be able to recognize, no,

it’s not about you saying, it’s not about me saying you were right.

It’s about my ability to admit that I was wrong.

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. You follow me?

And being able to say, yeah, this is how,

This is how what I did affected you.

~ Yeah.

~ Yeah.

And so some other examples of what not to say,

I’m sorry, but right.

~ Sure.

~ And following it up, I mean, excuse,

is any kind of excuses for your behavior?


I think there is room for apologies

where you try to help the understanding

what brought you to the place where you heard them.

And saying this is not an excuse, like making it clear that it’s not an excuse,

but I’m trying to provide some insight to,

I guess, allow them to see how you see it.


But that sharing perspective.


Thank you.

That’s very, very, very, very effective.

May very well come across as creating a defense.



Yeah, that’s why I was talking so slow.

I’m like, I don’t know how you say this without encouraging even doing that.

Cause I think, oh yeah, I should be able to explain my point of view and it should help the whole thing.


Because I want.

I’d read real lightly with that.


Because in some ways it is that dynamic of creating a, you know, a defense or making excuses.

And that’s where it gets lost because our partner in that or in that relationship,

the other person’s only hearing a minimized, you know, perspective on, well, you’d done

the same thing if you’d been in my shoes, you know, that kind of thing.

And I think that’s where we start losing that effective apology is when in my ability to

be able to say, yep, I did that.

And I’m, and I really am sorry that I did that.

And I can see that I have done that in the past.

and depending on your style, it is my desire to put things in place that basically you

can see that I’m trying not to do that anymore.



And there’s no, then there’s no, I’m sorry, but at that point, it’s full ownership.


What are some other don’ts when you look at these?

I’d say another one.

Not my fault. I’m sorry. It’s not my fault, but it’s not my fault.

Or that’s, yeah, it’s not my fault. I blame other people.

Yeah, I guess it’s kind of the same.

And I think another one that comes out of that defensiveness is

thinking that I know how much I’ve hurt that other person.

That’s a big pitfall that I’ll see.

And so often that also comes back in aspect of defensiveness

because it’ll go to the point of,

I know exactly how you feel.

And that’s how I felt when you–

~ Yeah, and you’re like, no, it’s not the same.

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

~ Exactly.

To being able to recognize, no,

that’s not beneficial apology,

not a beneficial apology when I’m willing

when I’m just basically trying to put it back on you

in a way that says, “Well, yeah, I know how you feel

“because you did that to me too.”

And it’s something completely unrelated,

it’s just completely different,

and it doesn’t even make sense.

~ Even if it’s the same, that’s not an apology.

~ Exactly, it’s not an apology.

~ Well, I forgive you ’cause you’ve done that to me before.

~ Yeah.


I don’t know, I don’t know.

~ How fast of aggressive does that sound?

~ Yeah.

And you know, he’s a multiple thing.

He said comes back to defensiveness.

I think on defense, defensiveness,

if we go back further, it’s just pride.

So I think no matter what,

apology will not happen properly if there’s still pride.

And so really it’s about killing that

before attempting an apology.

And there’s a good chance it’ll come out, right?

And then you also have the other side of the apology size,

which is the receiving end.

So you may apologize genuinely,

but they might not receive it because you didn’t do it the way they expected or whatever.

But step one is kill the pride.

If you don’t, one of these are going to slip out, right?

Yeah. No doubt in that the pride has to be slain first.

Yeah. And then I’m able to be able to be aware of the subtle nuances and differences between us

and not just saying what you need to hear

in such a way that is form-lomatic,

but to the point of I’m genuinely,

I genuinely care about what I did wrong

and I’m willing to even investigate

to what degree you like to hear

or that’s beneficial to hear

how I’m taking responsibility

or how I’m regretful or those kind of things

that you just hear it a little bit differently.

And I think when I look at this,

I think of so often couples in conflict.

And I think it’s like, yeah, that didn’t sound,

I’m sitting in the chair across the room and it’s like,

are you kidding?

You thought that sounded like something that she

or he would receive that?

~ It’s supposed to make her feel better.

~ Exactly.

And so sometimes I sit in there and it’s like,

well, is that different than my style?

And it’s like, no, no, that’s just that’s right.

That’s just bad.


Oh, don’t go there.

Don’t go there.

Don’t tell her you know, you know, or don’t tell him,

you know exactly.

It’s like, no, no, no, no.

But yeah, but I am aware from my perspective with Chris,

you know, and how often those times have been,

well, it’s like, I just didn’t hear it the way she,

I don’t hear things the way she does.



Yeah, and as you mature, your apologies get better

in terms of slaying the pride first.

And then as you continue to mature and grow, grow, grow, grow,

you start to recognize the ability to try

and show how you are sorry in the language

that they can hear best, right?

So that would be the hope.

Yeah, that’s like, you know,

kind of when you’re reaching the peak of goodness.

Mm, I hear you.

Being good at apologizing, I guess,

is when you genuinely mean it and you want it to be heard the most effective way possible.

Yes. Very much so. Yes, I value the relationship, not necessarily the microphone. Justin tried

to grab a fruit fly and missed. This is an adventurous episode.

I tell you, we started off with you feeling uncomfortable and I’m not sure it’s gotten better

since all these distractions as well.

~ It’s all good though.

~ But so yeah, that’s where I’m at with apology.

~ I like that.

~ So feel free, we’ll put a link in to be able to go there.

~ We really need, I need an illustrator

because we always have these hand motions

or diagrams in our heads.

Like we need a full time illustrator.

So if that’s you, you wanna be part of how I see a team

and you will do it for zero pay, then hit it up.

~ That’s right.

Cool, cool.

~ I was thinking about that grid,

I was thinking of the X, Y thing, right?

Like that would be great.

~ I’m still thinking on that.

~ Yeah, so I want to go back to it

’cause I think I fudged it up a little bit.

But left, right, that’s X, right.

~ Yes, Y is horizontal, Y is vertical.

So on the x-axis, you have repetitions of offense over time.

~ Okay.

~ On the y-axis, you have intensity of offense.

Okay, so I guess it’s like that, you know?

~ Okay, ever.

~ And it’s more of a like a right angle.

~ Yeah, right angle, thank you, right angle chart, right?

Where you have access?

~ We don’t have quads.

plus, but I changed it now to our writing.

~ This is where the illustrator would come into play.

~ Exactly.

So the more pain and the more times the offense is there,

the more of these one, two, three, four, five,

you’ll expect, I think.

Is that– – I hear where you’re coming from.

~ Does that make sense?

~ Yeah, it makes sense.

~ Yeah, like the depth of apology.

~ Because I think the greater the depth

and the more frequent, we’re gonna become numb

to some of the words.

We’re gonna wanna see a little more action,

a little more intentionality.

~ That’s conversation, a little more action.


~ Precisely.

~ Precisely.

~ And being able to recognize, yeah.

I’m gonna be looking at things a little differently

because I’ve heard this before.

~ ‘Cause all this conversation ain’t satisfaction in me.

Yes, that’s correct.

But that makes, I’m hearing where you’re coming from on that on that.

Yes, right angle, quadrant.


Doesn’t have to draw it up on your tablet and I’ll take a picture.

I could we could do that.

All right.

We could do that.

I’m not going to promise it.

I got it.


I got a blank.

I got a blank.

I can flip this over on my blank page.

All right.

All ready to go.

Well, we should do it like a time to, you know, give an eye.

We’ll go and we’ll draw it on our tablets and then we’ll post

It’s a draw folks and draw off. Well, that being said, I appreciate your time, Justin.

You too, Mark. Thank you for bringing your tablet and your notes and your

preparation and your knowledge and your wisdom and your forgiveness and your

apologies. Well, I know that it’s a, it’s a, it’s a, it’s a pleasure on my part

just to be able to help people. Yeah. Because I respect the fact that, uh, excuse

I’ve been in that kind of proverbial boat before where it just didn’t seem like I could say it correctly.


And I think this helped me understand that a little bit.

You need to clear your throat, man.

I do.

So this is how we see it.

Hey, thank you for listening to our podcast.

If you like how I see it, please do all the things that podcasts tell you to do.

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