When Sorry Isn’t Enough

Making Things Right with Those You Love
#1 New York Times bestselling author Gary Chapman and Jennifer Thomas have teamed up to deliver this groundbreaking study of how we give and receive apologies. Now Available! »

What to Say When… You are Really, Truly Sorry

In our book, When Sorry Isn’t Enough, Gary Chapman and I talk about five essential parts of any apology. In this blog post, I’ll talk in detail about our first Apology Language: Expressing Regret. Regret focuses on what you did or failed to do and how it affected the other person. The offended one is hurt, and they want to know that you “get it.”  Beyond saying, “I am sorry”, what else can you do? An apology has no impact unless it’s specific.  Read More »

What to Say When… You Accept an Apology

Most people like to receive needed apologies but they aren’t always sure how to react to them. If you, like Sue, are fortunate enough to receive an apology from someone, what should your response be in return? Must you offer the tried and true reply, “It’s OK.”? Actually, no. If their actions weren’t OK at all, consider replying this way instead:

  • I appreciate your apology.
  • Thanks for saying that.
  • This is a step in the right direction.

In a nutshell, here is the right way to accept the gift of an apology.  Read More » Welcome to my blog. I’m a psychologist and the co-author (with Gary Chapman) of When Sorry Isn’t Enough. I share tips about What to Say When challenging conversations arise and I welcome your thoughts and questions. I’ll check back in frequently to chime in on the conversations here.

How to STOP the (Digital) Drama

Do you have a hard topic to talk over with someone? Perhaps you need to circle back to a bad situation and offer an apology. Maybe you need to ask someone to act better next time. Whatever your challenging topic is, emails, texts, tweets and Facebook messages will all fall short.

Why? Because all these forms can sound harsh. Even if you thought about your words and chose them carefully, they can lack a gentle tone of voice for softening your message. Also, it’s hard to gauge through email and texts when to stop.  Read More »

Dear Mom, You’re Fired

Dear Mom,

I want to thank you for all you’ve done for me. You gave birth to me and you raised me with loving care. A person couldn’t ask for a better mom than you.

However, I’m  firing you. You’ve brilliantly worked yourself out of a job and I’m fully grown now.  I’m thirty years old but you treat me like I’m only ten. “Do this.” “Don’t do that.” You offer reminders at every turn this feels like control more than support and I don’t think you intend this.  Read More »