You may have messed up, but now you're willing to admit your mistakes and try to make it right. A good plan! An apology letter is a great way to try and correct a mistake or try to make the person you hurt might feel a little better, even though you might not have made the mistake with it. made intentionally. In this article we explain how you can ensure that your letter of apology achieves the desired effect and does not make the situation even worse. Start with Step 1 below and learn how to write a letter of apology that is not only tactful, but also functional.
Part 1 of 3: Putting your apologies into words
Step 1. Briefly explain what your letter is about
It's a good idea to tell the person you're writing to at the beginning of your letter that it's an apology letter. That way, you give him or her a chance to emotionally prepare themselves for what's in the rest of the letter. You should try not to confuse the reader of your letter with what you have written and not quite sure what to think.
For example, you could say something like, “I wanted to write you a letter of apology.”
Step 2. Explain what you did wrong
Now that you've admitted that you want to apologize in this letter, explain what you want to apologize for and why what you did was wrong. You have to be very precise and describe everything in as much detail as possible. By being honest about everything, you let the person you're apologizing to know that you really understand what you've done.
You can say something like, “What I did last weekend was really horribly inappropriate, disrespectful and most of all, very selfish. Your wedding should, of course, be all about your happiness and about celebrating your love. By proposing to Jessica, I attracted that attention. I was actually trying to take your moment away from you and of course it was wrong.”
Step 3. Acknowledge how much you hurt the other person
Recognize that you have hurt the other person and that you understand very well how much grief he or she must have been through. This is often also a good time to add that you never intended to hurt him or her.
For example, say something like, “Jacob told me that my action not only ruined your experience of your wedding, but that because of my fault, your honeymoon isn't the great experience it should have been. I hope you understand that was never my intention. Of course I wanted you to be able to look back on this time in a positive way and to have only good memories of it, but I ruined that with my selfish stuff. I stole those beautiful memories from you. I don't know exactly how that feels for you, of course, but at least I understand now that what I've done is one of the worst things I could have ever done to you."
Step 4. Express your gratitude
You don't have to, but if you want you can thank the other person for everything he or she has done for you in the past and for how well he or she has always helped you. This shows that you appreciate the other person and it sometimes helps to show that you really feel bad about what you've done.
For example, say, “Of course, what I did was all wrong when you consider how warmly and affectionately your family has welcomed me. Not only have you shown how much you love my brother, but you have always given me support and love in ways that I could never have imagined. That I've hurt you so much is actually a gross insult and in no way shows respect for everything you've done for me and I can hate myself for that."
Step 5. Take responsibility
This is one of the most important parts of apologizing, but it's often the hardest part to put into words. Even if the other person may also have made some mistakes, there is no space in this letter to talk about them. What you must do is admit openly and without hesitation that you have made a mistake. You may well have no good reasons for what you did and can't really explain why you did it. Yet you will have to recognize that what you have done has hurt someone else.
- Say something like, “I'd like to try to explain to you why I did it, but it's just not right. My intentions, though they have never been wrong, don't matter here, only the wrong choices I've made matter. I therefore take full responsibility for my selfish actions and for the enormous grief I caused you with them.”
- So you are not supposed to justify what you have done, but you can try very carefully to explain what led you to it. If you really think it's necessary or if you think it will make the situation a little less bad, you can explain why you made the choice you made. You should only do this if you think the other person will feel a little better if he or she understands why you made certain choices.
Step 6. Come up with a solution that can change the situation
Just saying you're sorry isn't really enough. Apologizing really makes sense if you can find a way to solve the problem and prevent further problems. This is even better than simply saying it will never happen again. If you come up with an idea to change the situation and explain how you plan to go about it, you show the other person that you really want to take the problem seriously and that you really want the situation between you to resolve. recovers.
For example, you can say something like, “But simply saying “sorry” isn't enough. You deserve better. Jessica and I would love to throw a huge welcome party in your honor when you get back. We're really going to make it the best party ever and it's really going to be 100% focused on celebrating the gigantic love you share with my brother. If you don't like this, don't worry, I just wish I could find a way to create the unforgettable and beautiful memories I took from you.”
Step 7. Explain that you hope your relationship will be better from now on
It is better not to ask the other person directly whether he or she will forgive you. In doing so, you are actually demanding something from the other, whether you mean it that way or not, and from someone you have already hurt. You can better explain what you really want, and that is that the contact between you will get better again in the future.
Say something like, “I can't expect you to forgive me, although I very much hope so. All I can say is that I really, really, really want to get things right between us. I really want you to feel comfortable again when I'm around, and maybe even happy if you can. I really want to recoup the great relationship we had. Hopefully, in the future, we can find a way to get over all of this and have great moments together again.”
Part 2 of 3: Apologize the right way
Step 1. Don't promise change if you're not 100% sure you can deliver
This is very important. If you've made a mistake that you think you're likely to make again, or if you think that mistake is caused by inherent differences in personality or morals between you, don't promise the other person that you will change. There's a pretty good chance that you'll make the same mistake again, and if you apologize again later, for whatever, it won't sound very believable.
Step 2. Watch your words carefully
Apologizing is an art. It's something we don't actually want by nature and that we resist a lot of the time. Therefore, if you want to apologize in the right way, you have to express yourself very carefully. Certain phrases and words may sound like you're apologizing, but they actually make the situation worse because you're basically saying you're not sorry at all. You often use those words without thinking, so be careful when writing a letter. Such words and expressions are for example:
- "Mistakes have been made…"
- Sentences with "if", such as "I'm sorry if I hurt you" or "If you feel bad about this…"
- "I'm sorry you felt that way."
Step 3. Be honest and real
When you apologize, you have to be honest and say what you really feel and think. If you can't do that, sometimes it's better to wait a little longer before apologizing. And once you start writing your letter, don't use standard phrases or clichés. You should also never just use a copy of a letter you got off the internet. The purpose of your apology letter is to make sure that what it says is specifically about your situation, so that whoever you are apologizing to knows that you really understand what happened and what exactly was wrong with it.
Step 4. Do not include expectations in your letter and do not automatically assume anything
The last thing you want is for your letter to come across as commanding, unfriendly, or even more insulting. What you don't want is trying to make the other person forgive you for feeling guilty, so don't make it seem that way either. You should also not assume that the other person is feeling a certain way, nor should you think that you know why he or she is sad or offended, because then you might end up just showing how little you really understand. of what happened. Whatever you put in your letter, it's best to use a modest, more submissive tone in everything you say, so that the reader of your letter will feel that he or she is in control of the situation. If you use such words in your letter, there is the best chance that the other person will forgive you for what happened.
Step 5. Wait a day or two to send your letter
If possible, wait a few days before posting the letter. It is wise to reread the letter once you have emotionally distanced yourself from what you have written.
Part 3 of 3: Formatting the letter
Step 1. Choose the most appropriate salutation for your letter
Depending on your relationship with the other person, it is best to start an apology letter with "Dear …..," or possibly "Dear ….., ". It is better not to start your letter with overly flowery or poetic language. Therefore, keep the salutation as simple and plain as possible.
Step 2. End your letter elegantly
If you're not sure how to end your letter, just finish with "Best regards,…", but if you'd like to make your letter a little more creative and make it sound a little less like a form letter, you can try something different. For example, you could close your letter with sentences such as, "I really appreciate your listening to me" or, "I would like to again apologize for the trouble I caused with my actions and I hope I really can do something to make it right."
Step 3. Officially apologize
If you are writing a letter of apology in a more official or professional context, you will need to make sure that the letter makes an official impression. Print the letter neatly on nice paper, add the necessary information such as the date, your own name and the name of the organization, sign the letter with pen and, depending on the circumstances and the type of organization, do not forget the other rules that apply to an official letter.
You will also need to adjust the sentence structure of your letter. Your letter should be reasonably formal and appropriate to the situation
- Sometimes when you apologize you have to let go of your pride. You achieve nothing with pride; a really good relationship often has no price.
- If you're having a hard time finding the right words for your letter, ask a friend or relative to help you. He or she should know what is expected of you and will probably be happy to help you.
- Just say what you mean and mean what you say. Honesty is the most important thing. And when you promise something, keep that promise.
- Write a short and nice letter; speak up directly and take responsibility for your actions.
- On the other hand, don't make your letter too short. An apology letter of two or three sentences will not achieve the right effect. Show the other person that you put time and effort into the letter.
- Try to explain why you did what you did. The other person may feel better if he or she knows you had no bad intentions.
- Try to say clearly that it was your fault and try not to blame someone else. That way you show that you are mature and have a sense of responsibility.