How To Write An Apology Letter (with sample)

Last Updated on July 28, 2022

Apology Letter

Every human does err or behaves badly to one another at a point or often times in their lifetime, even the good people because humans are imperfect and so an apology is Paramount to right our wrongs and to make atonement for our misconducts which we may have incurred or expressed In our day to day dealings with mankind.

Admitting to our own wrongs, and also apologizing to the ones we offended, can be nerve-racking, fearsome, and oftentimes difficult and almost seeming impossible because; some are scared of rejection i.e (unacceptable apology), how to go about the apology and approaching the person they have offended or wronged and to some it may be due to pride and no regard for man.

Apology oftentimes incure the question of ”How”; how will I do it, how will I say it, how will the individual see them (the offender) after their wrong, and as such makes it hard and difficult to make or render a sincere apology. Writing an apology letter for the shortcomings or wrongs committed by an offender might be the first step to forgiveness, and also restoring peace, harmony, and trust in any form of relationship before the offense.

What is an apology letter?

An apology letter could be a written or spoken statement or an expression of one’s remorse, regret, or sorrow for having wronged, cheated, harmed, maltreated, and inflicted another person pain either emotionally, verbally, physically, and psychologically. It can also be a form of acknowledging or taking responsibility for the wrong we may have done to an individual or group of person(s).

When to write an apology letter

An apology letter should be written shortly after the wrong is incurred or pointed out. A swift and correct apology letter helps save a relationship (of any kind) before the wound turns into a scar and gets beyond repair. An apology letter is considered useful and valuable in situations where you have caused or contributed to the wrong or misconduct that affected another person in an unfavorable or harsh way.

An apology letter is also considered important in restoring or healing a broken or compromised relationship. For instance, you might want to apologize to your friends, family members, boss, or business partners whom you may have wronged, insulted, belittled, and taken for granted.

How to write an apology letter

There are four basic ways to go about writing an apology letter, which is listed as follows:

1. Expression of Remorse: This involves stating what you’re apologizing for. It entails a brief description of what you did wrong and how sorry you are about it. For instance, you could say; “I’m sorry for…; I apologize for…, then you state what the apology is for based on the situation, avoid fault finding, shifting of blame and long explanation, be real and authentic in showing how remorseful you are.

2. Take Responsibility: This involves accepting your wrongs, and taking and accepting responsibility for an offense committed. This also shows that you’re aware of how your actions have impacted the other party involved and you’re willing to take full responsibility for your actions. You can say; I was wrong to have acted the way I did yesterday.

3. Make Amend: Making efforts or taking steps to amend your wrongs shows how sincere and committed you’re to right your wrongs. You can offer a peace offering i.e. whatever you feel is pleasant and appealing that could symbolize or represent a peace offering, it could be their favorites; it could be a pet, clothes, perfume, anything they really place importance to who makes do. You could also offer suggestions of things you would do to make up for the mistakes, you could also explain what happened at this point and be very sincere.

4. Provide Assurance: This is a form or way of assuring the recipient that the mistake would not occur again. Mistake or errs when committed create a crack and gap in trust and relationship respectively, so making or giving an assurance will foster a strong conviction and reassurance and in turn restore, rebuild and strengthen broken relationships. This is done at the end of the letter. Also, a statement or an undertaken can be signed as well.

What not to include in an apology letter

In writing an apology letter you need not include the following:

1. Blames: it involves fault findings, shifting of blame, and not taking responsibility, e.g. if you had not made such a statement I wouldn’t have…, you made me do it, and you pushed me too hard.

2. Long explanation: using long stories to explain is not ideal, being concise and brief, and stating the offense is a perfect way to apologize.

3. Self-pity: (this includes words like; I was such a fool, I don’t deserve to be forgiven nor worth forgiveness.

4. Insincere apologies: (words like; people make mistakes, I’m not perfect neither are you, that’s not how I meant it).

5. Passive aggressive tone (e.g. I’m sorry you felt that way or saw it that way).

Why is writing an apology letter important?

Making atonement or amends for our mistakes, offense, or harm we caused someone or person(s) is the primary purpose of an apology letter. Writing an apology letter is important because;

  • It helps reunite and strengthen a broken trust, union, relationship, and friendship.
  • It creates room for more understanding between the parties involved.
  • It helps us grow and learn from our mistakes.
  • It fosters peace and harmony in our workplace, home, and society.
  • It makes us responsible individuals when we admit our wrongs.
  • It teaches us how to apply empathy in our day-to-day dealings with humans.
  • It gives peace of mind which foster good health, just as the saying goes” grudges are like a stone in the heart” and “a healthy mind is a healthy body”.

Sample of an apology letter

An apology letter to a family member

Dear Philip,

I’m so sorry for the negative remark I gave about the food you served during our family reunion. I knew I previously told you how I wanted the sauce to be peppery, so my manner of response was so inappropriate, I really feel so bad and awful for how I responded and reacted to your warm treat.

My attitude and reaction are inexcusable. I can only say that I find it difficult to control my temper when stressed so I wrongfully made you a victim of my aggression.

I’m hoping that you would join me and my family at my forthcoming housewarming party next week. I would love the two of us to spend time together and you could also assist me in the kitchen and show me some of your recipes if you don’t mind and if that won’t be asking for too much. I’m sure it going to be fun-filled with you around.

You can rest assured that I will keep my temper in check and would not react or leash out unnecessary aggression on you again, I really am truly sorry for my actions during the family reunion, they were uncalled for. I promise you won’t have to condone any of my excesses again.



An apology letter to a boss or co-worker

Dear Victor,

I sincerely apologize for rudely cutting you short while you were about making your own quota of ideas on the building proposal in last week’s board meeting with the executive team. You spend a lot of energy and time resources looking for a suitable and mind-blowing presentation, which I committed negatively about in the wrong setting.

I should have first approached you and let you know privately of a better method or way to arrive at the best and not openly in such a setting which was totally inappropriate. I didn’t give you time to grossly explain your proposal but now that I have, I’ve come to realize that I charged you wrongly and I promise to support and back you up now that I have full insight into how and what it entails.

You did a great job in executing the presentation and I will appear before the board of directors and every executive present to right my wrongs and apologize accordingly.

I promise I’d never cut you short or rudely again in such a setting or anywhere in public without first discussing it with you privately. I promise to take every possible measure in other to ensure it never happens again.



In conclusion, an apology letter is very important and must be delivered with a swift response so as to reduce or curb any form of damage to the character, image, or integrity of both parties, saying sorry should not be a big deal each and everyone one should always learn to admit our mistakes and make amend where necessary.

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