1. Avoid addressing them by a nickname. Address your letter to the person’s actual first name, and avoid using pet names unless it is what they are called all of the time, because it may make your apology letter seem insincere.
2. Bring up the event. When apologizing, you want to acknowledge what happened – but don’t go in to detail, as this could make the recipient become angry all over again by thinking too much about it.
3. Apologize. Mention exactly what you did, and tell the recipient you are sorry. Be sincere, and don’t apologize in a way that sounds cheesy or as if it is only to make the recipient feel better, even though you don’t mean it.
4. Briefly explain why you did what you did. Offer your view of the situation, and why what you did or said seemed like the right thing at the time. If you were really just out and out wrong, admit it. While it may deflate your ego a bit, it’s worth saving a friendship when you truly were in the wrong.
5. Demonstrate the meaning of your friendship. Tell the recipient that their friendship or love means everything in the world to you, and that you do not want to lose it. Everyone makes mistakes, and admit that you made a big one. Be honest above all else.
Sample Apology Letter
Below is a brief sample of how an apology letter to a friend should be written.
Dear (first name)
Remember not to use a “pet” name here unless that is the only name the recipient is known by.
First paragraph – mention the event
Please accept my apology for my behavior last Thursday/last week. I now realize how upset you must be after thinking about what I said/did.
I should not have said what I did about Sarah/your brother/your boyfriend, and I realize it was a great mistake. I could have handled the situation in a different way to avoid putting our friendship at risk. At the time, I felt it was the right thing to say; in retrospect, I can see that I was in the wrong.
You may not be able to accept my apology, but I sincerely hope that you can. Our friendship means everything to me, and again I was wrong. I dearly regret the words I spoke, and hope that you will be able to forgive me.
Close your apology letter with Love, Your Friend, or whatever remark best fits the situation.