Example Letter #1
Jane, this is the hardest letter I have ever written. I feel terrible that I let John know you were planning to leave the firm. We were discussing pending changes, and I foolishly mentioned the possibility without remembering your concern. I didn't say it would happen, but I obviously said too much.
I don't blame you for being very upset with me. I can only ask your forgiveness and try to make it up to you somehow. I value your friendship very much and hope it can continue in spite of my stupidity.
Example Letter #2
John, please forgive me. I had no right to tell anyone about your thoughts of resigning. I can only imagine the shock and disappointment you felt towards me. This incident has been a harsh teacher of the importance of keeping personal information confidential. I only hope I can regain your trust by assuring you such carelessness will never happen again. Friends like you are hard to find, and I very much want to continue our rewarding association.
Example Letter #3
I apologize for the distress I have caused you. I promised that I would keep your plans for next year confidential. At the party last night we were discussing prospects for the new year, and I heard myself revealing your plans. This was a terrible breach of confidence. Please forgive me. I value your friendship and will work hard to regain your trust.
Example Letter #4
I want you to know how terribly sorry I am for my poor judgment in accepting a date with your former fiancee, John. When he asked me to go to the concert with him I was excited because the show was sold out and I really wanted to go. But, I didn't think enough about how you would feel about my going with John where you had planned to go.
I hope you can forgive me for being so insensitive. Our friendship is too important to me to jeopardize it. I am truly sorry for hurting you this way.
Example Letter #5
I apologize for writing a personal check on the club account. I was in a hurry and inadvertently pulled the wrong checkbook out of my purse when I paid for groceries. I didn't realize what I had done until the next bank statement arrived.
As the treasurer, I am aware of the position of trust in which I have been placed, and have always been very careful up till now to fulfill my responsibilities with integrity. I paid the money back as soon as I realized what had happened, and assure you that I will be more careful in future, but if you feel it necessary to replace me, I will understand.
Write Your Letter Step-by-Step
Begin with a straightforward apology.
Acknowledge the reader's frustration.
Express remorse about what you did, ask for forgiveness and, if appropriate, mention any action you will take to remedy the situation.
End with a positive statement, if appropriate.