Jennifer Thomas is a bestselling author, psychologist, speaker, consultant & apology critic

Levi Johnston’s apology to the Palin Family: 1.5 out of 5 Stars

On Tuesday, Levi Johnston offered a public apology to the Palin family.  This public apology, he said, followed a private apology that he gave to Todd and Sarah Palin.  Johnston offered the public apology via an interview with People Magazine.

About his words: Here are the Five Languages of Apology that Gary Chapman and I developed based upon research for our (2006) book by the same title.

1. Expressing regret- Saying “I’m sorry for the hurt I’ve caused”

2. Accepting responsibility- Saying “I was wrong.”

3. Making restitution- Asking, “What can I do to make things right?

4. Genuinely repenting- Stating that you will try not to do it again.

5. Requesting forgiveness- Asking, “Will you please forgive me?”

Within his text below, I’ll insert the numbers that correspond to our Five Languages of Apology at the end of each section to which they pertain.  Please post comment about whether you agree or disagree with my assessment and what you think of Levi’s overall apology.  I’d also welcome comments on why Levi might have changed his tune at this time.

“Last year, after Bristol and I broke up, I was unhappy and a little angry. Unfortunately, against my better judgment, I publicly said things about the Palins that were not completely true.” (#2, partially accepting responsibility but I notice that he didn’t say his statements were false.  He used weaker words: “not completely true”)

“I have already privately apologized to Todd and Sarah. Since my statements were public, I owe it to the Palins to publicly apologize.” (#2, partially accepting responsibility but I notice that he overlooked the opportunity to reject his previous “statements” by calling them something like “my erroneous statements.”

“So to the Palin family in general and to Sarah Palin in particular, please accept my regrets (#1 expressing regret)

and forgive my youthful indiscretion (#2 accepting responsibility but he gets only partial credit because such statements usually end up sounding like the apologizer is using his youth as an excuse)

“I hope one day to restore your trust.” (#5 partial request for forgiveness.  Tiger Woods ended his epic apology with a similar phrase.  It is respectful, in my mind, because he is not pressing for immediate trust and forgiveness while expressing his desire to be restored to their good graces and, perhaps, to restore their good name.)


A FREEBIE:  Our publisher has uploaded the 20-item Apology Language Profile from the back of our book and began to offer it online at no charge a couple of weeks ago. Here is the link:


Media inquiries:  336-254-4325


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