Write this brief letter as soon as possible after the incident. Focus your comments on what you are doing to rectify the situation rather than on the damage you may have caused. A sincere, well-worded apology coupled with action can go a long way toward patching up a damaged relationship.
1. Begin with a straightforward apology.
- I am so sorry I missed your high school play. I was very much looking forward to it, and I was extremely disappointed when I could not come.
- I am sorry I didn't get time to chat with you at John's reception.
- I hear we missed out on a great event. I am so sorry that we were not able to attend your birthday party.
- It looks like I made the blunder of the year. I am sorry that I forgot to mention your important contribution to the Doe project at the awards banquet.
- I am sorry that I forgot to send you a birthday card.
- I am sorry that we forgot to send you an invitation. It was just an unfortunate oversight.
- Jane, I am sorry that this thank you note is overdue, but I want to express my appreciation for your help with the arrangements for the family reunion.
- can't believe that we missed
- does not adequately express
- embarrassed that I forgot
- how could I have possibly
- how could I have forgotten
- just an unfortunate oversight
- my dismay when I realized that I had overlooked
- so sorry that I didn't realize that yesterday was
- so involved that
- so sorry that we were not able to attend
- sorry that we forgot to send
- sorry that I forgot to mention your
- sorry that this thank you note is so late
- sorry I didn't have time to
- sorry I missed your
- sorry that I forgot to send you a
- what can I say other than
- what could I have been thinking
- what was on my mind that day
2. Mention any action taken to remedy the situation. You may wish to explain, but do not excuse, your offense. End with a positive statement.
- When I get off work Saturday let's order a pizza and watch the video of your performance. The worst part of my job is occasionally missing important events like this one. Thanks for being patient with your dad.
- As I nervously read the script for the presentation, I missed some names--including yours. Your skill and expertise were invaluable to the project, and you deserve great credit. I am very sorry for my mistake.
- My wife and I had conflicting engagements. Otherwise, we both would have enjoyed helping you celebrate. I hope you had a happy birthday. We wish you all the best.
- This card is a little late, but it is sent with love and thankfulness for your friendship. I hope you had a wonderful birthday.
- Our party was just not complete without you and John! I wish we would have found out sooner that you didn't get the invitation. I had checked you off on my list of invitations sent out. I thought I had sent you an invitation!
- Our party just would not be complete without you and John! I hope you haven't made other plans for Saturday.
- Since I knew I was going to be in town for only a short time, I wanted to be sure to talk with you. I couldn't get away from a previous engagement, so I only had time to make a quick appearance at the reception before catching my plane. That's why I was so rushed. I was disappointed that we had so little time. When I come back we will spend the day together.
- after work, let's go out for
- appreciate the work you do at
- are you free for lunch on
- glad to count you as a good friend
- glad to have you with us
- have reservations for this weekend at the
- hope there will be no conflict
- hope to have you with us for many more years
- hope you had a wonderful birthday
- hope you haven't made plans for
- it is sent with love and thankfulness for your
- just would not be complete without
- just you and me
- look forward to seeing you soon
- must let me make it up to you
- our party was just not complete without
- please accept our belated good wishes
- sincere thanks for a super job
- the whole weekend to ourselves
- this card is a little late
- when I come back we will spend the day together
- will recognize you in a special section of
- will call you to confirm a time
- will definitely include you in the next
- wish you all the best
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