Part 1, Part 2
Now that you've read my three step plan (in Part 1) to help you plan your apology, let's look at the different ways you might think about saying sorry. I have included a sample apology letter further down...
Oh, by the way, I spell apologise with an 's' - it's a British thing, but of course if you write in American English, you'll want to spell it with a 'z'.
And, before we move on, you may want to find a solution for the underlying problem that led you to having to apologise...
There is a place for both, so let's look at this in more detail together. I really want you to be as successful as you can be in improving your relationship, reputation and self-respect.
Forget it! The only time you can use a text message is if you need to say sorry in advance for arriving later than expected!
Consider apologising in this way only if you don't know the other party personally. For example if there's been a minor misunderstanding with a supplier.
Yep - apology letters are potentially a reasonable way to say sorry. (I'll sometimes advise a client to write a letter to their partner, especially if they're unlikely to be given a chance to say their piece face-to-face.)
It is even more attentive if you accompany your letter with a bouquet of flowers or other thoughtful gift...
Writing a letter is also a good idea if, for example, you want to make a public apology to a group of people.
Let your words incubate for a couple of days, reread your letter or card several times, and imagine the receiver in different moods: angry, sad or happy. Before you send or give a letter, let a trusted person read it first to eliminate any blind spots and prevent unintended consequences as much as possible.
Below is a sample letter of apology. Do be careful to only use my sample words as a guide, and adapt the sentences to your needs and your own style. It's essential that your letter sounds genuine, and not like something you've copied! Try to strike a balance between showing that you've worked really hard to get it right and not overusing words you're unfamiliar with.
To help you find the right words for how you feel, have a look at my list of emotions and feelings.
This is only suitable if you live too far away to offer an apology in person within a reasonable time of the mistake.
If you are going to deliver your apology face-to-face, I can help. Have a look at my related articles below for further advice on how to apologise.
You can also get good advice from an online relationship expert.
Part 1 of How to Apologise, Part 2