(Newsroom America) -- Tiger Woods' public apology was the best of 2010, according to an expert who spent more than two years researching how to apologize effectively.
Dr. Jennifer Thomas co-authored The Five Languages of Apology with pastor and author Dr. Gary Chapman. Part of Chapman's bestselling Five Love Languages series, The Five Languages of Apology reveals how to shape the content of an apology to the particular needs of the recipient.
Thomas analyzed the flood of public apologies from last year and concluded the best was the highly scripted, 13-minute apology by PGA legend Tiger Woods. His apology earned 4.5 out of 5 stars on Thomas' rating scale, touching upon each of the five languages of apology:
1. Expressing Regret: "I am sorry" 2. Accepting Responsibility: "I was wrong" 3. Making Restitution: "What can I do to make it right?" 4. Genuinely Repenting: "I'll try not to do that again" 5. Requesting Forgiveness: "Will you please forgive me?"
There's a tie for the worst apology of 2010, Thomas adds: The Citigroup CEO's apology for the financial crisis; and the Canadian Women's Hockey Team's apology for their over-the-top revelry following their gold medal victory. Each of these apologies scored only 1 out of a possible 5 in Thomas' analysis.
Thomas' research brought to light that when it comes to apologizing, people indeed speak different languages. "Each of us has a primary 'love language' and if that language is not spoken, we do not feel loved," Thomas explains. "That's why sincere apologies may not always be received as sincere, and why forgiveness and reconciliation are not always forthcoming."
Understanding and applying the five languages of an apology will greatly enhance a person's relationships in marriages, in parenting, in families, in dating relationships and at work. The famous line, "Love means never having to say you're sorry," just doesn't apply, Thomas says.
"It's just the opposite," she concludes. "The path to restored, loving relationships begins by learning to speak the right language of apology when you offend someone."
(C) Newsroom America 2011