Most people would shy away from writing a personal apology letter to those whom they trespass, thinking that it would make them appear weaker than they are.
You screwed up. Now it’s time to own it. Knowing how to apologize is a crucial life and career skill. But when you write an apology letter, creating a permanent record of an event and your response to it, it’s all the more important that you get it right.
Apologizing is an art form few of us seem to master. We don’t want to admit our mistakes because we think that making mistakes reflects badly on our character. But the truth is, not apologizing, or making a feeble non-apology, is often worse.
There are a few reasons you may struggle with apologies:
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The good news is that when you put your apology in writing, you have the luxury of polishing and editing your thoughts so that they say precisely what you mean to convey.
Sorry does seem to be the hardest word, but if you can master these steps in the apology process, you’re sure to make a good impression. These guidelines apply whether you’re apologizing for a personal error, or you’re writing an apology on behalf of a team or business.
—If You Want to Know How to Apologize, First Do This…
It’s as easy (and as hard) as that. No minimizing, no shifting blame, no defenses. Now, let’s take a look at some apology letter examples that follow this format.
Before you begin writing, there are a few pointers to keep in mind. First, keep your letter brief and to the point. Don’t ramble on about what happened—distill it to the essentials. Don’t exaggerate, either. There’s no need to fall on your sword. But do keep your language respectful, sincere, and professional.
If you supervise an employee who made a mistake and find yourself apologizing to a customer or client, it’s important that you take responsibility without dumping all the blame on the employee. After all, what your employees do reflects your leadership.
Sometimes, you have to own up to something you did that hurt or inconvenienced another person. We’ve all been there. Keep it simple. Don’t make excuses. Show that you’re trying to improve.
It’s horrifying to think about, but sometimes you end up upsetting a group of people rather than just one person. As with all apology letters, It’s important not to say, “I’m sorry if anyone felt offended.” (That’s like saying, “It’s too bad some of you don’t know how to handle my personality.”) Instead, say, “I’m sorry that I offended anyone.”
The personal apology was conveyed by Ben Sherwood, the president of the Disney-ABC Television Group, and his leadership team, including ABC stations.
I feel I must apologize to you personally for misquoting your comment on the bond issue. I know how frustrating it can be to work hard for a cause and then have it misrepresented to those who will benefit most from it. The misunderstanding came when we transcribed your comments from a damaged tape recording of your talk Thursday evening.
As soon as we realized we had made a mistake, we printed an explanation and clarification of your position and gave each student a copy to take home. We are also printing a retraction in the local newspaper. I apologize for the misunderstanding and wish you success with the bond issue.
My comments about your withdrawal from the project were inexcusable. I realize that I do not know all the issues.
Sometimes I am too quick to comment before having all the facts. Had I known about your accident, I surely would have held my tongue.
I promise to be more considerate in the future.
I apologize for my most inappropriate behavior at your dinner party. I realize you were counting on a relaxing evening, and my lack of restraint must have taxed you greatly. Please understand that this is not my normal mode of behavior. I hope you will accept these flowers as a token of my apology, and consider joining me for a relaxing dinner party at my home in the near future.
Please accept my sincere apology for the disagreement we had yesterday afternoon. I am truly sorry if I offended you. When I feel passionately about an issue, I sometimes express my ideas and feelings too strongly, and I'm afraid that's what happened yesterday. Even though we have different opinions in this area, I want you to know that I respect your point of view and I enjoy discussing issues with you. I hope you will forgive me. I don't want our friendship to be affected negatively by this disagreement.
I am so sorry I missed our appointment last Tuesday morning. It must have been very upsetting for you to make all the effort to get to my office on time, only to have me fail to arrive. Unfortunately, my daughter was involved in a car accident, and everything else simply slipped my mind.
Would you prefer to reschedule next time you are in Springfield, or simply speak on the phone? I will be visiting Centerville during the week of June 10, and we could arrange to meet then if you like. In any case, when we do meet, let me take you out to lunch. I look forward to hearing from you.
This is very embarrassing for me to have to admit, but I simply cannot find the book you lent me. I have searched everywhere I can think of, but it seems to have disappeared. I'm very sorry, John, particularly as you warned me that it is out of print. I have contacted all the second-hand bookstores in town, and they have agreed to look out for it, and Doe Books also told me about a book search service located in Springfield. I am waiting to hear back from them.
I will keep on trying until I locate another copy in good condition for you, but in the meantime I ask you please to accept my sincere apologies.
Date: _____ (Date on Which Letter is Written)
Subject: Personal Apology Letter
Hey buddy, I never thought I will ever write this one and that too for someone like you. Anyway, without reminding of that dreadful moment when I was rude and a bit arrogant with you for an issue that was not so important, I should not have.
I realized my fault and that I should not have at any cost and at any point of time reacted to you the way I did. So without any hesitation, I would like to sincerely apologize for anything and everything to be on the safer side and take a foot back, so as not to lose you, the one beyond just a friend, guide, and philosopher.
Last, of all, it is a sincere request to consider this and understand me for the feeling I want to express and let that incident go up like smoke in the polluted air.
Name and Signature
Personal Apology Letter. Here is a sample apology letter to a friend or family member. You can email this to them after having time to think it over or condense .
Prince Philip has sent a personal apology to the two women who were injured in the car crash he was involved in on the Sandringham estate.
The 97-year-old duke said he was "deeply sorry" in a letter to Ellie Townsend, the driver of the Kia Carens which collided with his Land Rover as he pulled out of a side road earlier this month, and her passenger, Emma Fairweather (via BBC).
In his letter to Fairweather, he admitted that he "failed to see the car coming" due to the bright winter sun which was low in the sky, before wishing her a "speedy recovery from a very distressing experience".
John Stillwell - PA ImagesGetty Images
He added that he felt "very contrite about the consequences", and was left "somewhat shaken" after the incident, and disclosed that he had been advised to return to Sandringham House by police after the accident.
"I would like you to know how very sorry I am for my part in the accident at the Babingley cross-roads," Philip wrote in the letter, dated January 21.
"I have been across that crossing any number of times and I know very well the amount of traffic that uses that main road.
"It was a bright sunny day and at about three in the afternoon, the sun was low over the Wash. In other words, the sun was shining low over the main road. In normal conditions I would have no difficulty in seeing traffic coming from the Dersingham direction, but I can only imagine that I failed to see the car coming."
The letter was signed off: "Yours sincerely, Philip."
Fairweather broke her wrist after the accident on 17 January, while Townsend was reportedly left shaken as her nine-month-old son was in the back seat.
Witnesses said Philip's Land Rover overturned during the crash, which happened as he pulled out of a driveway, and that the duke was "conscious but very, very shocked and shaken" as he was helped out of the car.
"The investigation is ongoing," Norfolk police have said.
At its best, an apology is an expression of sincere personal remorse for one's own The classic "non-apology" is something like "I'm sorry you're upset, but if.