I’m Sorry Notes

I'm Sorry NotesNot every mistake requires a flowery, drawn-out letter of apology. Sometimes it’s okay to keep things short and sweet through the use of simple I’m sorry notes. You can write I’m sorry notes to anyone–friends, family members, and even coworkers—when you need to acknowledge a blunder. Just a short note can turn a minor inconvenience or misunderstanding into an opportunity to display your good manners and thoughtfulness.

Here’s an example to use when writing I’m sorry notes to coworkers:


I’m sorry I broke your mug. I accidentally knocked it off of the counter while I was making coffee in the break room.

I’ll buy you a replacement mug over the weekend and give it to you Monday morning.

Your clumsy coworker,


Here’s another example you can use when writing I’m sorry notes to family members:


I’m sorry I didn’t take out the trash yesterday like I said I would. I’m so forgetful sometimes!

I promise I will take it out the next time it’s full.



In both of these I’m sorry notes, the writer wasn’t apologizing for a serious offense—just a broken coffee cup and a forgotten chore. If you need to apologize to a loved one for a major betrayal or disagreement, you should probably take the time to write a full-length letter. When dealing with serious matters, short I’m sorry notes can seem dismissive and rude.

As you can see, both of the above examples of I’m sorry notes were just a couple of sentences long. There’s no need to take up the recipient’s time with a long letter. Most of the time, people don’t expect to receive I’m sorry notes for minor mistakes, so just a few thoughtful words will be perceived as a very thoughtful gesture.

As with other types of apology letters, I’m sorry notes should be handwritten whenever possible. Handwritten I’m sorry notes convey a personal touch that emails or typed notes do not. In today’s technological world, people very rarely receive personal, handwritten notes—that’s what makes handwritten I’m sorry notes so special!

I’m sorry notes should always begin by acknowledging and apologizing for your error. Even if it was just a minor mistake, you should take the time to apologize for any annoyance or inconvenience you may have caused the people receiving your I’m sorry notes. It would be a shame to damage your relationship with a friend, coworker or family member because you failed to apologize properly.

Don’t forget to include a sentence in your I’m sorry notes describing how you intend to make amends for your error. Whether you’re promising to replace a broken item or take care of a task you’ve been neglecting, your reader will be impressed by your integrity. You don’t have to make any grand gestures; you just need to do whatever you can to fix your mistake and avoid similar blunders in the future. But remember: I’m sorry notes can become meaningless very quickly if you fail to follow through on your promises. It’s better not to make a promise in the first place than to make a promise you don’t intend to keep.

Find out more about I’m Sorry Poems for Boyfriends and read about Love Letter Saying Sorry.

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