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Getting your feelings hurt is never a good experience, no matter who does it. But, the good thing is that hearing that the person is sorry can go a very long way in helping you to overcome the hurt.
When they say sorry, there are in fact right and wrong ways to respond. Knowing how to respond to sorry all depends on the relationship you share and the circumstances surrounding the apology.
In this article, we‘ll take a look at 20 different ways you can respond to sorry in any situation, whether it has come in response to something that was said or done, and even in cases where the apology was not genuine.
We‘ll also let you know why each response is appropriate for each situation.
Ideas of Responding to Sorry When Someone Has Said Something That Offended You
Words are very powerful, and sometimes they can cut like knives and really hurt others. If this has happened to you and the person has apologized, here is how to respond to sorry.
01 “Thank you. I appreciate you saying that.”
Saying thank you for the apology lets the person know that you have accepted their plea, and that it has helped you to feel better.
Photo by acworks on photo-ac
02 “I‘m sorry, too.”
Often times, arguments don‘t have one guilty party. Where there is a heated exchange on both sides, each person can drive the other to say things even meaner than the other.
In a case such as this, saying you‘re sorry too helps the both of you to heal.
03 “It‘s okay. I forgive you.”
Say this if the person keeps apologizing because they are genuinely sorry. It lets them know you are over the problem, and that they can stop beating themselves up now.
04 “Don‘t mention it.”
If a friend has said something hurtful unintentionally, this response is good since it shows that you realize it was not malicious, and that you have moved past it.
Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on unsplash
05 “I‘m glad you apologized. It means a lot to me.”
This is good to use for an apology you did not expect but is very meaningful. It also helps to make the other person stop feeling bad about what was said.
06 “I only accept cash apologies.”
This can be used after a quarrel with a friend or family member as a funny way to show that everything‘s all good now.
Photo by Melissa Walker Horn on unsplash
Ideas for How to Respond to Sorry When Someone has Done Something Wrong at Work/School
Actions speak volumes, and sometimes what a person does can affect you in such a negative way that it causes you to feel extremely bad. Here are 7 ideas for how to respond to sorry when it happens at work or school.
07 “Thanks, just don‘t let it happen again.”
If you are not close to a classmate or coworker, this is an appropriate response to use to show that you accept the apology. It also subtly warns them not to do it again.
Photo by acworks on photo-ac
08 “You should be. But I forgive you.”
This one is kind of a guilt trip, but it helps to emphasize the fact that what the speaker did was very wrong. It also shows that you are no longer upset about the wrongdoing.
You may also like
50 Other Ways to Say Sorry without Using the S-Word
09 “But I already reserved a room in hell for you.”
If the person at school or work is someone that you are close with and like a lot, this is a cool response that makes light of what happened. This joke says that what they did would earn them a spot in hell, and that it‘s too late for sorry.
10 “Too late to cancel the hitman now.”
This is another funny idea for how to respond to sorry. In the mafia or any gang, when one person wrongs another, a hit is put on them. Saying this shows that what the person did was super bad, but of course, you didn‘t actually put out a hit. You are just trying to be funny.
Photo by Andre Hunter on unsplash
11 “Don‘t be sorry. Be better.”
This type of response should be used on a repeat offender who does hurtful things all the time and keeps saying sorry. This shows that you are fed up, and you are no longer interested in sorry, but instead want to see the person change for the better.
12 “I appreciate the apology, but something like that cannot be forgiven so easily.”
In a case where what was done has affected you so severely that sorry is not enough, and for the wrongdoing to not happen again, you might need to teach this person a lesson by not accepting the apology. This response is perfect for that.
13 “Thanks, but just know that I‘d never do something like that to you.”
This response is for when you accept the apology but still want them to feel bad. It can also make you feel like the bigger person.
Ideas for How to Respond to Sorry When Someone Misunderstood You
Misunderstandings happen all the time but can be corrected by a simple ‘I‘m sorry.’ Don‘t know how to respond to sorry in this type of situation? Here are 5 examples.
14 “It‘s fine. Happens to the best of us.”
This response says that we‘re all human, and we all make mistakes, and you understand that. This helps to make you both feel better and move on.
Photo by Alek Bujišić under pexels license
15 “Thanks, no harm done.”
If the miscommunication was caught in the early stages before any real damage was done, you could use this phrase to let the apologizer know that everything‘s good between the two of you.
16 “It’s not a big deal! Don‘t worry about it.”
In day to day affairs, many of us commit something that destroys our reputation and so apologies are made. But not every time we are the ones who have done something undesirable or offensive, it may be the other person and we are the sufferers. If the offender is asking for apologies and especially by writing a letter and in case of some monetary loss, they are also taking the responsibility to paying the damage so in that case just accept the apology with a soft note by writing an apology acceptance letter.
Even if the other person is not taking the full responsibility of the serious damage he has caused you in terms of money or business then simply ask them to pay the damage. But it is important how you put it! If you go harsh and start writing all the disgraceful words to them, you will never be able to make them pay the damage. Remember your concern is to get back what h as been lost. So keep the tone low and never user harsh words.
Learn how to write an apology acceptance letter with the help of a template and the sample which we have provided below.
Tips to Write Apology Acceptance Letter
- Maintain a respect barrier
- Use positive words
- Maintain a formal and professional tone throughout the letter
Others are Reading
Sample Apology Acceptance Letter
Tekk & Co.
149-A, Suite No 3, 5th Avenue
44, Main Boulevard
This letter is in response to the apology letter which was received on 11/10/2013. Your apology made to the company has been accepted.
We appreciate how you realized your mistake and took the step to apologize to us personally. We expect that such a mistake will not be repeated from your end.
Signature of Joe Adams
Name of Joe Adams
Apology Acceptance Letter Template
Sender’s Phone Number
Receiver’s Phone Number
With reference to the apology letter received to us on _____, it is to inform you that the apology has been accepted by __________. It would have caused _________ to our company if you had ______________ for a single day .
We appreciate that _______________ and made the decision early to _______________. We expect that you will _____________________ in future.
Feeling like a bonehead? Write your apology with carefully-chosen words.
Choose a topic to view apology letter templates:
37 Popular Letters Related to Apology Letters
Business Apology Letter
Use a serif font
Type this apology letter on your computer using a serif font, such as Times Roman or Georgia, and print it on good-quality, bright-white paper.
Use a formal business letter format
such as full block or semi-block.
Offer your apology in the beginning of the letter
Clearly state the problem: “Please accept my apology for being unable to give you a definitive answer at this time. ” or “We apologize for whatever inconvenience this may cause you, but. ”
Give some explanation for what happened
“Our committee has not yet completed its investigation into. ” or “In order to err on the side of caution, this toy has been recalled by the manufacturer. ”
Focus on what actions you are taking to rectify the problem
“We are happy to offer you a full refund. ” or “We will be happy to notify you as soon as we receive the information you requested. ”
Hand-sign the apology letter with a black pen.
Remember: Say you are sorry as soon as wisdom dictates!
You will find that an apology letter will not only help save your friendships and your business associates, it can also dissolve a small problem and keep it from snowballing into a big one!
Always be honest and ethical
I know that it pays to always choose the right. Be honest in all your business and personal dealings. Decide to always tell the truth. If you go the extra mile to be ethical, your business will improve and you will feel much better about yourself.
Personal Apology Letter
Handwrite this apology letter carefully; don’t type it on a computer.
Express your apology in the beginning of your letter:
“I am so sorry. ” or “I want to apologize. ”
State exactly what you did wrong early in the apology letter:
“I shouldn’t have lost my temper when. ” or “I have looked all over, but I’m afraid I have lost your book. ”
Accept responsibility for what you did and don’t blame the other person:
“I accept full responsibility for what happened. ” or “I know this was completely my fault. ”
Promise in your apology letter not to repeat your offensive action
Ask the injured party to give you an opportunity to prove this to them.
Suggest that the two of you get together
Meet at a restaurant or some other nonthreatening place so that you can apologize in person and begin to rebuild your relationship.
Apology Letter for Absence: Upset your boss/ senior/teacher/professor etc. because of your absence? No worries! There is always a way out to resolve any problem. One of the best ways is to ask for an apology. You can either write an email, letter or a note to the one you are asking apology to. Here we have provided you with a few examples/ samples of apology for absence which we hope that they will help you out or at least give you an idea to write one on your own. We really hope that you will be finding them useful and would ease your problem. Some of the examples/ sample/ templates are given below.
Apology Letter Sample for Absence with Example
Apology Letter For Absence From Work Due to Illness
ABC Corp. Ltd.
[Write name of city]
Dear Sir/ Ma’am,
This is to inform you that I won’t be able to make it to work today as I am suffering from severe backache and I have been told to take a rest from my doctor. I have been having this issue for the last 6 months but now it is near to intolerable. As of now, I am asking you to grant me off for two days and I apologize for asking of this absence suddenly.
I will be joining back from Monday. I hope you would acknowledge my necessity and will accept my apology too.
[Write your name]
Apology Letter for Absence From Work Without Notice
The Research Scientist,
R & D, XYZ Ltd.
[Write location of workplace]
Dear Sir/ Ma’am,
I am writing this letter to ask for your apology as I was absent for the last two days and that too without notice. I sincerely apologize for being irresponsible and showed unprofessional attitude at my work place. I accept that I must have informed before being absent and create a huddle here.
Please accept my apology and forgive me. I promise that I will not disappoint you any further. I sincerely regret my attitude at work.
I hope to hear from you.
[Write your Name]
Apology Letter for Absence in Class
I am writing this letter to apologize to you for being absent from your class. I was not prepared for the test and therefore I bunked your class. I am ashamed of my action and I deeply regret too.
I promise that I will never repeat it even if I am not prepared and in fact will do my work in advance. I am really sorry and I hope that you will provide me with at least one more chance. I shall be very grateful to you.
[Write your Name]
Apology Letter for School Absence
[Name of City]
Respected Sir/ Ma’am,
This is to write to you that I am sincerely very sorry for taking a week off without prior notice. I went to a family trip which was a sudden plan and that is why I couldn’t inform or ask for leave at school. I understand that it is against the policy of our School and I am ready to pay any punishment in return. I request you to not suspend me or just stay angry with me.
I will never repeat it. I promise.
ABC [Write your Name]
Apology Letter Sample for Absence
The General Manager,
Diva Pvt. Ltd.
[Write name of city/ Location]
Dear Sir/ Ma’am,
The purpose of writing this letter is actually to ask for your apology as I couldn’t come to work since last three days. My health is not well and I am not able to come for work. Some of my reports suggest rest and that is why I didn’t come and also because of the effects of medicine, it is very difficult for me to come and join work.
I am extremely grateful to have a boss like you who understands the situation. I will be joining back as soon as I recover myself. I hope that you would understand.
POI [Write your Name]
Apology Letter Template for Absence in PDF and Word Format
Apology Letter Template for Absence in PDF Format
Apology Letter Template for Absence in Word (.Doc) Format
We really hope that you found this article useful. We really hope to see you back soon for something new. We are glad that you chose us to help you out. Hope to catch you back soon. Till then, Take care!
On this kind of apology letter, you should acknowledge that have received the apology letter sent to you and also state your acceptance of it. You can also thank the sender for being thoughtful in this matter.
You can assure that you also accept your fault and willing to put the matter aside. You can also state that you are also sorry for this matter. Here, on this page, a sample of accept apology letter is provided. It may help you to write this kind of letter.
Accept Apology Letter Sample
Dear (Receiver’s Name),
I have got your letter last day. I have read it top to bottom a couple of times. I would like to thank you for your letter of apology. I wanted you to know that I do appreciate the thought and effort that you have placed in reaching out to me through this letter.
I was really very happy when I have read your change in tone. I also have done a lot of thinking over the past few weeks. I have managed to organize my thoughts and realized that why I feel so hurt by your disapproving thoughts.
I am so happy that you wrote and I do indeed very much appreciate and accept your heartfelt apology. I value and cherish our friendship far too much as well to let something get in the way like this. We have remained close friends for such a long time that the relationship is of such a close nature that it is only normal that we have arguments and disagree from time to time.
I want to assure you that I am very much willing to put this matter aside and dismiss it as a past disagreement. I am looking forward to meeting and discussing these things more calmly and to many more years of friendship.
Normally, one should apologize for one’s own offenses. However, if you are in some way responsible for the offender’s behavior–as is a supervisor for example–it may be appropriate to write an apology even if the offender also writes one. Write this brief, clear letter as soon as possible after the incident.
1 . Begin with a straightforward apology that refers specifically to the offense.
- I am sorry you had a bad experience with one of our employees.
- John, I am sorry that the security guard did not recognize you and gave you a hard time when you came to the plant.
- We are sorry that you were not satisfied with the service you received at the Doe Family Restaurant.
- Thank you for letting us know about the problem you had with our employee last Wednesday. We apologize for any inconvenience you suffered. Customer satisfaction is Doe Plumbing’s top priority.
- We apologize for the way the salesman in our showroom treated you.
- On behalf of the captain of the S.S. Doe, I apologize that your cabin did not meet your expectations.
- Jane, I apologize that the project team did not get the Doe report to you in time for the meeting yesterday.
- a little kindness goes a long way
- actions were inappropriate
- am disturbed about the incident regarding
- any inconvenience you suffered
- apologize for the incident
- apologize for the salesman’s behavior
- apologize for any inconvenience
- are sorry our representative was unable to
- concerned about their behavior
- cooperate with any suggestions
- customer satisfaction is top priority
- did not meet your expectations
- disruptions to your personnel
- gave you difficulty when
- has damaged customer relations
- is too outspoken
- lack of tact
- lack of discretion
- misleading statements
- more diplomatic worker
- no excuse for
- no excuse for rudeness
- not satisfied with the service you received at
- on behalf of the
- our apologies for the problems you had with
- please accept our apologies
- sorry that you were not satisfied with
- sorry you feel you that
- sorry you had a bad experience with
- sorry to hear about
- thank you for taking the time to complete the guest comment card
- thank you for letting us know about the problem
- that you have been dissatisfied with
- the apparent misinformation
- the problem you had with our employee
- truly sorry if anyone in our company
- unpleasant conversation you had with
- was surprised to hear that
- when dealing with persons who
2 . Acknowledge your reader's frustration and express thanks for the concern.
- We pride ourselves in customer service and seek to train our employees to meet our standards. We are particularly concerned when customers feel they have been poorly treated. Thank you for bringing this problem to our attention.
- I understand how frustrating it can be to know that you have a right to be somewhere, but security guards–acting according to protocol–prevent your entrance. Again, I apologize.
- We pay close attention to our workers’ behavior since they represent Doe Incorporated to our customers and we are very concerned when customers feel mistreated. Thank you for bringing this to our attention.
- I understand that such inconveniences can be very frustrating. Thank you for your patience.
- I can imagine how upset you must have been. We are grateful for the patience you showed toward John after the incident.
- We understand that you took the cruise to relax in the most comfortable environment possible, and that this incident spoiled some of your rest.
- I know it was an important report and you needed it to begin your project.
- actions were inappropriate
- an important report and you needed
- any further difficulties
- apologize for ignoring your
- apologize for your inconvenience
- apologize for the disruption that
- apologize for any trouble this has caused
- appreciate feedback from
- are always eager to get feedback from
- are committed to
- assistance that the company offers
- begin your project
- can imagine how upset you must have been
- comments will help us
- efforts in the future
- feedback from our customers
- guided by your remarks
- help us streamline our procedure
- if you have any further questions
- is frustrating to know that
- it is our job to
- making it right for you
- offer additional help
- please do not hesitate to call
- regret that you didn’t receive the assistance you needed
- thank you for your patience
- thank you for bringing this to our attention
- thank you for taking the time to write
- thank you for your concern
- thank you for your patience
- to feel disturbed is understandable
- want our customers happy
- we value positive relationships
- we are grateful for the patience you
- we want to do our best to correct
- when customers feel mistreated by
- you have not received the kind of
- you have a right to be
3 . Mention any specific steps taken to correct the problem. End with a positive statement thanking the reader for his or her concern. Offering some form of compensation or restitution may be appropriate.
Responding Gracefully to an Apology after a Dispute with a Friend – Free Example
I got your letter today, I have read it through a couple of times, as I admit the first moment that I saw this was from you, I was tentative, a little worried that your words were going to deepen the feelings that had been stirred up in our disagreement.
You (and I) were both quite disapproving and full of accusations concerning certain things we had both done.
I was happy however to have read your change in tone. I too have done a lot of thinking over the past (few weeks) and have managed to organize my thoughts and realize why I also felt so hurt by your disapproving thoughts.
I understand better what upset you so much as well, I know how (here give some relevant details relating to the disagreement that you both had which remain personal to the other person, so that they feel understood by you). I realise now, with the time that has past that not everything is so black and white.
It is the shades of grey that are so often hard to see but that must be looked at and looked at well. They are what bind things together in a balanced and wide angled view. I realize now that not everything is so easily put into the narrow frame of mind' view. Unfortunately it is far simpler to think fast in this way than to pause in the moment.
I am so happy that you wrote, and I do indeed very much appreciate and accept your heart felt apology. I value and cherish our friendship far too much as well to let something get in the way like this. We have remained close friends for such a long time that the relationship is of such a close nature that it is only normal that we have arguments and disagree from time to time.
I think this makes for a healthy friendship and leaves room for improvement!
Looking forward to meeting and discussing things more calmly and to many more years of friendship!
Being wrong doesn’t feel like anything , and there’s nothing wrong with being wrong. It happens to everybody. Realizing you’ve made a mistake can be difficult and perhaps embarrassing – I’ve been there – but letting others know that you got it wrong is important to healthy relationships. You can do this in person, on the phone, by email, WhatsApp, a personal note or a post-it. Every medium has a different impact, every person has different preferences on how they want to receive/give an apology. In the end, just remember, apologizing is going to make you seem human, regardless of the outcome.
When is an apology via email appropriate?
It’s not always possible or practical to meet someone in person. Apologizing on the phone can be difficult if you don’t know the other person, or if you’re just not very good at apologizing over the phone.
- Time is of the essence
- You want everyone to get the same apology at the same time
- You have a lot to say
- Your apology is formal
- You want or expect very little to nothing in return
…then an email might be appropriate.
The perfect apology
I found this via Google. If your apology contains the following…:
- give a detailed account of the situation
- acknowledge the hurt or damage done
- take responsibility
- recognize your/the company’s role in the situation
- include a statement of regret
- ask for forgiveness
- promise that it won’t happen again
- provide a form of restitution (if possible)
… it’s pretty much a perfect business apology. Here are a few phrases to get you started, related to some of the above categories:
- Please accept my apologies.
- I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to..
- (I’m) sorry. I didn’t realize the impact of…
- Please accept our deepest apologies for…
- Please accept my sincere apologies for…
- Please accept this as my formal apology for…
- Please allow me to apologize for…
- I would like to express my deep regrets for…
- I would like to apologize on behalf of our company.
- Please accept my apology for…
- I apologize for my failure to…
- I’m particularly sorry for…
- We appreciate that this caused you inconvenience…
- I understand that our actions meant…
- I can imagine that you felt like…
- We see that our actions impacted you unnecessarily…
- As a result of our decision, our relationship was affected…
- In our efforts to optimize our distribution process, we overlooked…
- The defect/problem was caused by…
- The error was due to…
- Our internal communication failed. As a result…
- We’re convinced that the changes we’ve implemented will prevent this from happening again.
- In the future, our focus will be on…, so that this situation won’t repeat itself.
- We’ll be increasing our efforts when it comes to…, so that in the future…
- We’ve increased our efforts to ensure that…
- I can promise you that the highest quality standards will be met going forward.
The SPASS model
When it comes to writing the email, structuring your email can be difficult. The SPASS model is perfect for email apologies. It’s simple and easy to remember. SPASS = Situation – Problem – Action – Say Sorry. That’s it. Finally, I apologize for keeping you from what you were doing, with another very long post.