Tutorial for “Apologize For Offensive Behavior”

Tips

Write this brief letter as soon as possible after the incident. Often this apology is best expressed with a handwritten note. Even so, these suggestions can help you organize your thoughts.

Steps

1. Begin with a straightforward apology. Do not rehash the incident, but be specific enough that your reader will know that you acknowledge your error.

Sentences

  • I am sorry for the way I acted at your party last night. I could tell that you had put a lot of work into making sure everyone was having a good time. Everyone was, until my unfortunate outburst.
  • I am sorry for the way I behaved at last night's game. I was in a bad disposition and should have stayed home.
  • I am sorry for my behavior at the office party last night. I had no right to take any liberties with you.
  • Jane, I apologize for the joke that I told at yesterday's meeting. It was offensive and inappropriate. When I first began to write this letter, I thought I might say, "Had I known you were there, I would not have told that kind of joke," but I realize now that sexist jokes are never appropriate.
  • John, I apologize for my bad taste at yesterday's meeting. My attempt at humor was offensive and inappropriate. My wife helped me realize that ethnic jokes are never appropriate.

Phrases

  • apologize for the ethnic remarks I made
  • apologize for the joke that I told at
  • apologize for my behavior that
  • apologize for making your job harder
  • apologize for the sexist joke I made in
  • apologize for the rude comment I made at
  • apologize for letting my personal life get in the way of
  • deeply sorry that I
  • deeply regret my behavior
  • didn't intend my comments to be
  • ethnic jokes are never
  • feel terrible that
  • hope you can forgive me for
  • made a fool of myself
  • my attempt at humor was inappropriate
  • need to respect others' beliefs
  • not sure how I can possibly
  • realize I was insensitive
  • should have been more considerate
  • sorry for the way I acted at your party
  • sorry for what I did to you last night
  • sorry I offended those who
  • sorry for the way I behaved at last night's game
  • there is no excuse for what I did
  • truly regret that
  • was offensive and inappropriate
  • what I said was in bad taste

2. Acknowledge the reader's feelings, if appropriate.

Sentences

  • Thank you for the way you handled the incident at the time. I am sure what I said must have caused you some embarrassment. You showed remarkable restraint in quietly asking me to leave.
  • I know that your job as a referee is hard enough without fans challenging your calls. I respect the job you do and apologize for making it harder.
  • I realize now that it must be painful to listen to jokes like the one I told. I promise you that neither you nor anyone else will ever hear one from me again.
  • You showed remarkable restraint at my offensive act. I can only image how upset you must have been.
  • I can imagine how upset you must have been. I am grateful for the patience you showed me after the incident.

Phrases

  • can only imagine how upset you must have been
  • didn't realize how hurtful such words can be
  • feel terrible that you were subjected to
  • how awful it sounded
  • must be frustrating to have to listen to
  • my remarks must have made you feel
  • my stubborn attitude must have made you feel
  • are kind for being so tolerant of me
  • realize how bad it made you feel
  • sorry that you felt so bad
  • sorry you had to suffer
  • such hurtful comments are
  • thoughtless words must have caused you
  • understand how you must feel
  • what I said must have caused
  • your gracious behavior in the face of hurtful remarks
  • your job is hard enough without

3. Ask for forgiveness and indicate that you value your relationship with the reader.

Sentences

  • Please forgive me. I have enjoyed working with you and hope to continue to do so.
  • Please forgive me for what I said. I realize this gesture cannot erase what I did, but please accept these flowers as a peace offering.
  • Please forgive me. I promise that it will never happen again.
  • I am especially embarrassed about this since I value your friendship so much. Please forgive me.
  • I value you as a colleague and friend. Please forgive me for my tactless behavior.
  • Please accept my apology and assurance that it will not happen again.
  • I hope you can forgive me. I'll do all I can to make amends.

Phrases

  • accept this gift
  • accept these flowers as a peace offering
  • don't want anything to come between
  • have enjoyed working with you at
  • have such high regard for
  • hope to continue to
  • hope you can forgive the
  • important to me that
  • must make things right
  • please forgive my tactless behavior
  • please forgive me for what I said
  • since I value your friendship so much
  • the high esteem in which I hold you and your family
  • value you as a colleague and friend

4. End with a positive statement.

Sentences

  • Thank you for helping me see I have room for improvement.
  • I wish you a good game on Saturday.
  • You are a true friend indeed.
  • I assure you I will not repeat this behavior.
  • I am glad to have you as a co-worker and look forward to getting back to work tomorrow.
  • Friends like you are few and far between.

Phrases

  • assure you that
  • call you next week
  • friends like you are few and far between
  • glad to have you as a co-worker
  • glad we can depend on you for leadership
  • hope this does not hinder future
  • look forward to sharing the
  • look forward to other good times
  • look forward to an opportunity to redeem myself
  • looking forward to getting back to
  • our relationship is special to me
  • sincere thanks for your understanding
  • sincerely appreciate your friendship
  • thank you for helping me see how I can improve
  • thank you for your efforts and friendship
  • thank you for your commitment
  • thanks for your kindness and fairness
  • this incident will not be repeated
  • wish you a good game on
  • you are a true friend indeed

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