How to write an apology letter: 15 steps (with pictures)

How to write an apology letter: 15 steps (with pictures)
How to write an apology letter: 15 steps (with pictures)

You made a mistake, but you are ready to apologize and fix… Good idea! Writing a letter of apology is a great way to make amends and can make someone feel better, even if the mistake was unintentional. By reading the following, you will make sure that your letter will be effective and not cause more problems.


Part 1 of 3: compose a letter of apology

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Step 1. Introduce the theme of your letter

It is good to state in the introduction that this letter is a letter of apology. This allows the recipient to emotionally prepare to read the rest of the mail. He should not be confused about why you are writing to him or what you are going to say.

Say something like "I wanted to apologize to you."

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Step 2. Expose your mistake

Once you've explained that you were going to apologize, give the reason and why you made the mistake. Be precise. By accurately describing the situation, the person you are apologizing to will know that you really understood what you did.

Say, “What I did last week was utterly inappropriate, disrespectful, and utterly selfish. Your wedding was supposed to be the celebration of your happiness and your love. By proposing to Marie, I diverted the attention to myself. I stole your day from you and it was wrong. "

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Step 3. Know how hurtful you have been

Share how well you know you hurt that person. Now is the time to make it clear that this was never your intention.

Say, "Jacob told me that what I did not only destroyed your wedding day, but you also don't enjoy your honeymoon as much as you should." I hope you understand that was by no means my intention. I wish you could only remember the happy times, but I ruined everything because of my selfishness. I stole those happy moments from you. Although I can't really know how you are feeling, I know I couldn't do a worse thing to you than this. "

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Step 4. Express your gratitude

If you want to, and although it isn't necessary, you can express all the positive things this person has done for you in the past. It shows how much you appreciate them and how bad you feel for doing something wrong with them.

Say something: “It's especially terrible to have done this when you know how you welcomed me into your family. You didn't just show incredible love for my brother, you gave me support and kindness that I never thought possible. Hurt yourself in this way is an insult to all the kindness you have shown me and I hate myself for it. "

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Step 5. Accept your responsibility

This is the most important part of your apology, but it can be the most difficult. Although the other person also made mistakes, that is not the subject of this letter. You must admit your responsibility for your mistakes openly and wholeheartedly. You may have had good reasons for doing what you did, but that shouldn't stop you from admitting that someone was hurt.

  • Say something like, “I would like to try to explain, but there are no excuses. My intentions, while good, don't matter. Only my actions count. I take full responsibility for what I did and for the pain I caused you. "
  • Don't make excuses for what you did, but you can try to explain your reasoning. If you really think it is necessary and can help improve the situation, you can explain why you did so. Only do this if you think the person you hurt needs to understand.
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Step 6. Come up with a solution that will lead to change

Saying that you are sorry is not enough. You have to find a way out that will fix the problem for your excuse to be valid. It's even better than saying it won't happen again. If you propose a change and explain how you are going to effect that change, you show your determination to improve the situation.

Say something like “Telling you I'm sorry isn't enough. You deserve better than that. When you come back, Marie and I want to organize a party in your honor. This will mark the end of all other holidays and will be held only to celebrate the incredible love you share with my brother. If you don't want to, I'll understand. I would just like to find a solution to give you the moments of happiness that I stole from you on your wedding day. "

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Step 7. Explain your wish for better relationships in the future

Don't just ask for forgiveness. You demand something from someone you've hurt. It's best to express what you both really want, which is better interactions to come.

Say something like, “I don't expect you to forgive me, although I hope you will. All I can say is I wish things would improve between us. I want to be able to feel comfortable and happy in your presence again. I want to find the wonderful relationship that we had. I hope we can overcome this ordeal and relive good times. "

Part 2 of 3: Apologize Properly

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Step 1. Don't promise change unless you are sure

Its very important. If you've made a mistake that you think you'll make again, because it's part of who you are, don't promise to change. If you make a mistake again and repeat your apologies, it will ring true.

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Step 2. Watch your language

Apologizing is an art. Of course, we don't like to apologize and we avoid having to. Therefore, if you want to apologize properly, you will need to be careful with your language. Certain sentences and words sound like an excuse, but make the situation even worse because they don't actually display the fact that you're sorry. It's easy to use these words accidentally, so be careful when writing your letter. Avoid for example:

  • "Mistakes were made …"
  • "If" or "I'm sorry if your feelings were hurt" or "If you felt bad after …"
  • “I'm sorry you felt this way. "
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Step 3. Be sincere and genuine

When you apologize, you must appear sincere and genuine. If that's not possible, you might as well wait until you feel genuinely sorry for what you've done. When writing your letter, avoid clichés and formal language. Do not copy a letter template found on the internet. What you are writing is about a specific situation and you want the person you are apologizing to to know that you understood how wrong what you did was.

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Step 4. Avoid expectations and assumptions

Your letter doesn't have to be demanding, harsh, or even more insulting. Don't force the other to apologize by making them feel guilty. Don't make assumptions about what they might be feeling or you might give the appearance that you absolutely didn't understand what happened. Use humble language and tone that will make the recipient of your letter feel in control. Speaking simply and humbly will make you more likely to be forgiven.

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Step 5. Wait a day or two before sending the letter

If possible, wait a while before sending your letter, so that you can reread it after taking a step back from what you have written.

Part 3 of 3: format the letter

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Step 1. Choose the best way to start your letter

For a letter of apology, you will prefer to start with “Dear…”. It's best to stay as neutral as possible to start your letter and keep the greetings as simple as possible.

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Step 2. End your letter cordially

If you don't know how to finish your letter, choose “sincerely…” However, you can be creative and avoid making your letter too formal. Try "Thanks really for reading me all the way" or "Once again, I sincerely apologize for the harm I have done to you and hope we can resolve this.""

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Step 3. Go for a formal excuse

If you are writing a letter of apology in a more professional form, then you should make sure that the letter is more formal. In addition to printing your letter, include the date, your name, the name of your institution or organization, and other information you need to write down.

Also pay attention to the language used in more formal mail


  • Acknowledge the fact that it is your fault. Don't blame someone else. Show responsibility and maturity.
  • Write a short, sweet letter. Go straight to the point and take responsibility.
  • If you're having trouble finding the words, ask a friend or family member for help. They will know what is expected of you and will be happy to help.
  • Make sure your letter is not too short. Two or three sentences will not be enough. But don't make it into a novel either.
  • Forget your pride when you apologize. Pride is nothing, with regard to certain friendships that are priceless.

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