Need The Perfect Apology Letter or Verbal Apology?

Free sample apology letters for personal & business use

Make things right again with a sincere apology letter or verbal mea culpa. Learn the most effective and creative ways to say sorry.

Find great examples, templates and samples to help you deliver the perfect apology to your girlfriend, boyfriend, husband, wife, friends, customers, clients & partners.

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Back of a girl on an orange background
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A hand pointing to a message to post an apology online
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Black background with a businessman adjusting his tie
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We've all been there—messing up, well, makes us human. It's how we clean up the mess that makes us successful!

By delivering an effective apology you inevitably gain respect from friends, family, lovers & colleagues and significantly reduce any, or even all, of the damage done.

Asking for forgiveness requires a little more time and effort than uttering a few simple words.

Apologizing is both an art AND a science; truly thoughtful apologies rebuild relationships, while a careless, rushed or thoughtless "I'm sorry" can do more harm than good!

Pen and paper sitting on a desk with the word 'Sorry' written on itIT'S ALL HERE— How-Tos & Guides for both written and verbal apologies, business apology strategies & research, and hundreds of inspiring personal apology letters. You can even post your own apology letter right here on the site.

Effective Apology Strategies

Asking for forgiveness requires a little more time and effort than uttering a few simple words—the key to success is to ask in the right way and at the right time through a well-crafted apology letter or heartfelt and sincere verbal apology.

So... are you in the doghouse?
Is a loved one giving you the look?
Are you getting the silent treatment?
Did you forget an important date?
Did you hurt or betray someone?
Are police officers knocking at your door?

How do you apologize and say sorry? What works and what doesn't? What triggers forgiveness? How do you make someone understand how sorry you really are? Where do regret and remorse come into play?

Do you need a business apology?

Are you in trouble at work?
Do you need to apologize to your boss?
Are you trying to craft the perfect business apology letter?
Are your customers looking to your competitors for help?
Did you forget an important meeting?
Have you let down your staff?

Learn the secrets and techniques of professional writers, scholars, publicists, and public relations experts. Explore our business apology section and understand how the elements that surround your apology are important to its effectiveness.

An apology quote by Margaret Lee Runbeck alongside a cup of tea


Dedicated Apology Letter Section

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We show you what to include when saying sorry, and how to write an apology letter.

Get inspired by hundreds of personal letters written by husbands, wives, girlfriends, boyfriends, friends and family who've posted their apologies for the world to see.

And, for those in search of business mea culpas, use one of our business apology letter templates to craft and tailor your own.

Samples & Templates: Letters of Apology in Business

Sample Apologies From Lovers & Spouses

Examples From Friends & Family

General Apology Letter FAQ

Below are a few of the more common questions we get asked about apologies in general and apology letters more specifically.

What's an apology?

An apology is a means of expressing your regret and remorse for hurting someone and understanding the impact of your actions and/or words. According to Merriam-Webster, the definition of an apology is "an admission of error or discourtesy accompanied by an expression of regret." In order to express that regret, the words I'm sorry should be included.

In all cases and all situations, an apology is the first step in making things right again.

Why do we need to apologize?

Apologizing is about taking responsibility for your behavior and acknowledging how your words or actions affected others. It shows respect and empathy while validating the feelings of the person you offended.

How to apologize sincerely?

A sincere apology needs to let the recipient know that you clearly understand the impact and hurt you caused by your actions. Saying I know I hurt you is different from I can understand how angry and betrayed you feel...

I know I hurt you shows a general understanding, while explaining the hurt by acknowledging the anger and betrayal tells the recipient that you've put yourself in their shoes and given thought to the consequences of your actions.

What's the difference between I'm sorry and I apologize?

I apologize is only an admission of your being at fault, it doesn't tell the recipient how you feel about what you did. Saying I'm sorry, on the other hand, tells the recipient that you both acknowledge the negative impact your words or actions caused but also that you have empathy and feel badly about it what happened and how it affected the injured party.

What's a letter of apology?

An apology letter is the act of writing out and expressing your regret and remorse. It's a means of conveying your feelings, taking full responsibility for your actions, acknowledging the hurt or damage done, and attempting to make the situation right again.

What should I write in an apology letter?

Start your letter by apologizing, saying you're sorry, describe exactly what happened and the impact of your actions. Explain how you much you regret the hurt you caused and ask for forgiveness. For a template and best practices read our article on how to write an apology letter.

Is it better to write an apology letter or apologize in person?

An apology letter gives you time to gather your thoughts and think about what you're writing. It also gives the recipient time to think about what you've written before responding. In comparison, apologizing in person requires that you think on your feet and be prepared for the conversation that follows your apology, and the recipient's reaction whether it be negative or positive.

A two-tiered approach, especially in business and for personal situations where serious infractions occured, is often the best choice. You begin with a letter of apology and follow up with a meeting to discuss the situation.

Should business apologies be treated differently from personal ones?

The basic elements that make up a sincere apology remain the same for both personal and business situations. However, there are strategic reasons and sometimes even legal issues that require consideration when a business offers a mea culpa or writes a business apology letter that are rarely true for personal situations.

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Remember, "to err is human..." and for every mistake there is a perfect apology!

Now let's find yours...

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