Insider Scoop: My Focus on the Family Interview with Dr. Gary Chapman

family gary chapman_radio

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. I also consult with companies about apologies. I’ll check back in frequently to chime in on the conversation here.

A while back, Gary Chapman and I traveled to Colorado Springs for a taping of their daily broadcast. Here are some of my behind the scenes memories:

During the session, the interviewers asked some great questions about the five languages of apology. Gary and I have developed a rapport for interviews like this. Generally, we take turns giving the answers. If we have something to add to the other’s answer, we lift a finger or point to ourselves. When we are asked about teaching kids to apologize, Gary usually points to me and I step in to answer because I have young kids. When theological questions pop up, I point to Gary because he’s a pastor. You should hear what Gary says about forgiveness versus forbearance.

After our session, we toured the building and had lunch in the employee cafeteria. I also enjoyed meeting Jim Daly. He is one humble CEO.


English: Focus on the Family Administration Bu...


Here are the links to our two radio programs:


Part 1


Part 2




Focus on the Family




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Two Simple Things Your Relationships Need For Survival

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.

“Good relationships are four parts liking each other and seven parts forgiveness.” Quote by Jennifer Thomas

Gary Chapman is known as “The Love Language Man.” His New York Times book, The Five Love Languages, selling over 9 million copies, has become a classic. To have blissful relationships, showing love is a must.  To have happy friends and co-workers, showing appreciation is essential. Recently, Dr. Chapman has embraced a second necessary ingredient for healthy relationships: dealing with offenses through apologies and forgiveness.  In May, Gary Chapman and I released When Sorry Isn’t Enough, which tells readers how to make things right with anyone. We believe that these two books fit together like a hand in a glove. Both sets of tools are needed to make relationships work.

Today, most engaged couples know that they need to learn each others’ love languages.  Yet they will not be fully equipped for their journey without the matching insight: their languages of apology.  Whether in love relationships, friendships, or the workplace, love languages and apology languages are practical tools for cementing your relationships.

Since our book on apologies was released, we’ve gotten very positive feedback. One person who emailed me gave me permission to share her thoughts with you:


Do you remember me telling you that I taught on apologies from your book at adult Sunday school at my church?  Well, I had an opportunity yesterday to put your techniques to work.  Someone at church was deeply offended about something that was partially my doing.  I talked with the person one-on-one, and did my best to incorporate all five apology languages.  Whether this person will forgive, I cannot say.  But I was soooooo glad to have had the information from your book to fall upon. I thought you might want to know,

(From my friend)

Also, I received this email from an astute man:

Thanks again for your time at Kiwanis last Thurs.  Really great insights for managing relationships.  My wife and I have had significant arguments about whether or not the other apologized.  I haven’t apologized unless I make it very clear that I was wrong, and she hasn’t apologized unless she makes it clear to me that the future will be different.  Appreciating our different attitudes at least gives us the opportunity (whether or not we take it is another story) to apologize to the other in language they understand and appreciate.

Best wishes,

(From an attendee at one of my seminars)

Are you in a pickle with someone today? Here is a “Cliff Notes” version of both concepts for you to use. Relationships at home and at work can be very challenging. Don’t give up. Use these practical ideas for getting out of any jam with others.

Gary Chapman’s 5 Love Languages:

  1. Gifts- For some people, what makes them feel most loved is to receive a gift.
  2. Acts of service- Remember that for some people, actions speak louder than words.
  3. Words of affirmation- Say, write, or text encouraging words to other people.
  4. Quality time- This language is all about giving the other person your undivided attention.
  5. Physical touch- To this person, nothing speaks more deeply than appropriate touch.

NEW! Our 5 Languages of Apology:

  1. Express regret- Say “I’m sorry for the hurt I’ve caused.”
  2. Accept responsibility- Say “I was wrong.”
  3. Make restitution- Ask, “What can I do to make things right?
  4. Genuinely repent- State how you will change so you will not do it again.
  5. Request forgiveness- Ask, “Will you please forgive me?”

Your turn:

Which do you think needs to come first: Love languages or apology languages?

In your experience, what part of an apology do too many people omit?


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Cultural Issues

There are TWO main phases of relationship between a MAN and a WOMAN. ONLY IN ITALY these phases are called with different name because these are really TWO DIFFERENT PHASES. Main problem in a RELATIONSHIP comes when we have not experience to distinguish and recognise in what status we are. Many problems in relationships and divorces are summarized … See Morein this difference. The difference alienates people. First phase is MANAGED by the “INSTINCT”, second phase must be managed by the “AWARNESS”. Only the second phase must be called LOVE, but LOVE must come from our action. DISASTERS comes from the movement from PHASE 1 and PHASE 2.
This theory was well described by book: I WILL LOVE YOU FOREVER (real name in italian is “TI AMERO’ PER SEMPRE”), by PIERO ANGELA.

The above comment focuses on love, but I’m also thinking about relationships and apologies.  While conducting research for our Five Languages of Apology, I learned that accepting responsibility (our 2nd languages of apology) varies considerably by culture.  These cultural differences are reflected in the language.  In romance languages, it is common to say things indirectly. Rather than saying that a person has dropped her eyeglasses, I learned that the Spanish translation would be passive:  “My eyeglasses fell from my face.”  Likewise, their apologies are less likely to include personal statements of responsibility.
What do you think?

Apology Book Review

5.0 out of 5 stars “A healing journey for me.”

Our apology book was given top ratings by a reader who posted this response to our book:

“The first thing I had to do when I received my copy of The Five Languages of Apology was to take The Apology Language Profile in the back of the book. I approached it in the happy, fun way I used to look at surveys in women’s magazines until the very first question stopped me dead in my tracks. Since it was about how a spouse should apologize for failing to acknowledge a wedding anniversary, it hit home right away. I knew this was going to be a serious book and that it would bring up some very raw emotions. My husband had recently intended to acknowledge our anniversary with a beautiful gift, but it was stolen from his car before he had the chance, and nothing more was said or done about it. Even though I knew my husband was not to blame, I needed someone to take responsibility and there was no one to do that thus creating an unresolved issue we would eventually work through. As I read more of the questions, I experienced emotions ranging from sadness to anger and by the end of it I realized that very few people had ever apologized to me at all let alone took the time to figure out my apology language! It made perfect sense to me that my preferred apology language is accepting responsibility, since people who come from dysfunctional homes often long for someone to own up to what he or she has done or said, and because this rarely happens, communication becomes distorted. In the midst of my own issues this book was addressing, I was comforted by the words Chapman and Thomas used to lead me from feeling very alone and rejected because of the lack of apologies given to me, to experiencing some healing and closure due to the new understanding I have been given. I have also become much more aware of the apologies I see in movies and in my relationships with friends. I do believe that if we could get to the point of being willing to apologize, even if we have to stumble through it at first, we would broaden our ability to truly love one another.”

Poem About The Five Love Languages


Love in Any Language

Please tell me the things you love about me,

As it makes me feel treasured.

Virginia Beach sunset 7/26/2013. Photo by Mack...

Please show me your love by serving me in big and small ways,

As I carry heavy burdens and your partnership lifts my spirit.

Please set aside some of your precious time for me,

As I feel loved when you are close enough for me to reach out and touch.

Please bring me a simple gift,

As it proves that I’m on your mind even when we’re apart.

Please touch me,

As your affection meets needs that I can barely express in words.

Poem by Jennifer M. Thomas

All rights reserved

Based Upon: The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman

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The Apology I Need


Lift This Barrier Between Us

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. In a departure from my usual advice, today I’m sharing an apology poem written by yours truly. I’ll check back in frequently to chime in on the conversation here.

Please tell me you are sorry,

As it helps me know you care about my feelings.

Please admit you were wrong,

As it lifts my heart when you accept the blame.

Please show me how you’ll fully restore me,

As I was afraid things would never be right again.

apology i need sorryPlease commit to make changes that will prevent this from happening again,

As I can only feel secure in the future when I know how the past won’t be repeated.

Please ask me for the gift of my forgiveness,

As it can open the door to healing our relationship.

By Jennifer Thomas

All rights reserved

Based upon When Sorry Isn’t Enough by Gary Chapman and Jennifer Thomas

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The Five Love Languages 6th in a list of 12 eco-friendly Valentine’s Day tips

I was pleased to see that my co-author, Gary Chapman, earned this spot in a creative new article by the Canadian News Service:

#6  Time and talent: Affirm your commitment by spending a weekend giving service (yes, that’s one of the five love languages, according to author Dr. Gary Chapman.) Pamper your mate, draw his/her baths, cook for him/her, massage his/her feet and do chores. All those things you’re good at that he or she has had on the list — painting, fixing, cooking, planting, rearranging, hanging, hammering, nailing, rewiring, fixing, changing — add in some things only you can do (those perfect crepes, mojitos, grilled organic filets) and a little wine and a homemade card and you’re good to go.