An apology letter, as we may know, is a tool used to express or convey remorse for a wrongdoing. Oftentimes, we offend people by our actions, inactions, speeches, etc, and in such circumstances, it is proper we do not let such acts of wrong sever the relationship we share with others.
Writing an apology letter, whether formal or informal, should be done with all sincerity of purpose.
It helps to take note of a few things when writing a letter of apology:
- State your intention: The major reason you write an apology letter is to state how sorry or remorseful you are for the wrong done. It is important to state this at the beginning of the writing.
- Mention exactly the wrong done: This will enable the receiver of the apology letter have a focus on your admission of guilt and the need for his or her consideration for pardon.
- Empathize with the offended: Showing you feel the pain or discomfort the offended is subjected to by your action is a way of lessening the pain caused.
- Express your appreciation for favour received in the past: Though you may skip this but if you wish to include it in the apology, it will help you present yourself as one who is mindful of the good done in spite of the wrong which could misrepresent you as a betrayer.
- Be responsible for your actions: No matter what, taking responsibility for wrong actions shows maturity and sincerity. This may be a difficult thing to do but, it must take its course.
- Recommend possible way(s) out of future occurrence: In any conflict, there is always steps taken or suggested as appropriate to check future experience. You must ensure this is done for the sake of all parties involved.
- Do not promise any change in behavior if you cannot guarantee it: There are situations you may not help and cannot change. Hence, the onus lies on you not to promise any better results if similar situation may arise in future.
- Choose your language and expression right: Make use of words and expression that depict your sincere feelings of wrongdoing other than a show of insincerity or irresponsibility. An apology should be written as it demands- a statement of remorse for a wrong done.
- Do not trade blames: This is also in support of number 8 above. You need not allow room for an exchange of blame in order to save your head.
- Think over it: Let your emotion be truly right with what you have written to ensure you have not acted beyond acceptable standard. This period of thought, here we suggest like a day or two, allow you an ample of time to check out for any unwarranted input in your letter. If you find any, then you must expunge it immediately.
- Go ahead with the writing: The format takes similar step in conventional letter writing. But care must be taken on how to start, with proper salutation or greeting and heading. Also, attention should be paid to details in each paragraph, as to really show the piece is an apology in itself. Ending the letter, of course, must take similar complimentary close.