How to Write an Apology Letter

Published: 14th October 2011
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When conflicts arise, there will be cases of heated arguments or mistakes that affects another party. For whatever reason, whether it is intended or not, mending these kinds of situations entails confrontations and apologies. Apologies are often difficult to express regardless of one's guilt. When it comes to admitting faults, people tend to shy away, realizing the damage that they have caused.

Apologies come in many forms. Some may prefer to give verbal apologies, while some show it through their actions. But there are cases when writing a letter would be more appropriate. It shows effort and sincerity, and may infuse more impact that is not too subtle, but not too aggressive either. The following are tips on how to write an apology letter:

State the purpose
The first part should indicate the reason for writing the letter. It should contain an overview of what had happened. It should also reflect the guilt and regret one has felt because of the incident.

Admit the mistake
Acknowledge the awareness of the fact that certain faults in one's actions have led to unwanted results, causing disappointment to the person being addressed to. Explain what has caused certain actions to get out of hand, at the same time keeping in mind not to appear too defensive on the matter.

Rectify the damage
It is important that the remedy be indicated in the letter. State the plan of action that is willing to be taken to fix the situation. Make sure to focus on the specific details on how the error will be reversed, rather than lingering on the mistake itself. Show the eagerness on taking full responsibility for what had happened.

Make it personal
Whether it is a business-related matter or not, the letter should not be too formal, but not too conversational either. Gain the respect of the person by projecting humility, but make sure to speak with your own voice, addressing it to someone dear to you.

Say what you mean, mean what you say
An apology is not an apology if the offender is not sincere with what he/she says. Do not make promises that cannot be kept for the mere purpose of flowering one's words. An apology will only be effective if it is genuine.

End with proper closure
End the letter by thanking the person for taking the time in reading the letter, with the intention of wanting to reach reconciliation.

Apologies are meant to cure wounds. Yet there is no telling for sure as to how to deep the cuts are, or how long it will take to heal. And although it is often said that prevention is better than cure, attempting to clean the wound is still better than letting it bleed.

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