How to Accept an Apology in Writing

Knowing how to accept an apology in writing is a need that arises in both professional and personal situations. If you are a telecommuter who communicates with your supervisors or coworkers via email, you may need to learn this skill. If you have friends and relatives in other geographic locations, phone or in-person contact may be difficult, presenting you with the occasional written apology. Or you may have received an apology in person, but feel more comfortable responding in writing. Here are some of the steps involved in accepting an apology in writing.


  1. Image titled Accept an Apology in Writing Step 1
    Understand the apology.
    • Read or listen to the apology carefully. If the issue is emotionally charged, it can be easy to get distracted and miss important details in the apology. Focus intently on what the person is communicating.
    • Gauge the sincerity of the apology. Evaluate whether the offender seems truly sorry and accepts responsibility for his mistakes. Also examine the tone of the message.
  2. Image titled Accept an Apology in Writing Step 2
    Explore your own feelings. Determine whether or not the apology is emotionally satisfying. Decide whether you are ready to forgive or if you feel unresolved anger or pain.
  3. Image titled Accept an Apology in Writing Step 3
    Communicate any unresolved feelings in writing.
    • Express any unresolved anger or pain in a letter. You can only accept an apology if your feelings are truly resolved. Limit discussion to your feelings and facts. Avoid focusing on general weaknesses and character flaws that the person cannot change overnight.
    • Ask for time to process feelings. If you are not ready to accept the apology, let the person know that you have unresolved feelings and will get back to him.
  4. Image titled Accept an Apology in Writing Step 4
    Accept the apology through a letter.
    • Write that you accept the apology if you are ready to forgive. Express your appreciation and gratitude for the sincerity of the apology.
    • Summarize the events in your letter. Briefly recount the facts of the event, your feelings during the process and how you are feeling now.
  5. Image titled Accept an Apology in Writing Step 5
    Finalize the letter.
    • Review the letter to ensure that it is clear and thorough. Ask yourself how you would feel if you apologized to someone and received your letter in response.
    • Set the letter aside. Give yourself anywhere from an hour to a day before sending the letter. Reread it to make sure it accurately conveys your true feelings and thoughts.
  6. Image titled Accept an Apology in Writing Step 6
    Mail or email the apology acceptance letter. To limit misunderstandings should the email or letter get lost, ask the recipient or the mail service to confirm receipt.
  7. Image titled Accept an Apology in Writing Step 7
    Determine the future of the relationship.
    • Evaluate your feelings about the relationship. You may have forgiven the person and want to continue the relationship. If so, put the events behind you and focus on other things in future communications.
    • End the relationship if it is one you cannot continue. You may forgive the wrongdoing, but are not interested in continuing with the relationship. In this case, your apology acceptance letter may be your last communication with the person.


  • Ask a trusted friend or relative who is emotionally unattached to the situation to read your letter before you send it.

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Categories: Letters | Writing