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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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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