Writing an Apology Letter to a Friend

Writing an apology letter to a friend is a heart and soul experience.

Friendship provides love, support, companionship, and fun, but it also offers an opportunity for growth and self-awareness. As we trigger each other and push our hot buttons, we have two choices: explore our issues, release limitations and evolve to a new level, or go into resistance, shut down, and end the friendship. There are of course times when it’s in the best interests of both people to move on from the relationship. If it can be done with honesty and closure, it can be a healing experience. But when is a friendship over and when is there a rift that needs to be mended?

If you would like to mend your friendship, a letter of apology might be the best place to start. If it doesn’t heal your relationship, at least it will provide you with some closure. Here are some suggestions on how to get started.

Express yourself freely. It can be challenging to know how to write an apology letter – what to say, how to say it and so on. Over analyzing can prevent honesty from flowing freely. One way to start is to write a draft letter – one that you don’t intend to send to your friend. Write it in a journal, on a note pad or on your computer, but let it all out. Touch into your emotions and express them freely. If you’re angry, have a temper tantrum on paper. If you’re sad, pour your heart out. Use this as a safe place to vent, judge, criticize, whine, complain, be needy, justify or whatever comes out of you. Then sit with it for a day or two and let it process. This will clear out the charge and open a space for clarity to write the real letter.

Own your stuff. If you’re writing an apology letter, you most likely feel bad about something you did or said in your relationship. It’s helpful to put aside your hurt friend’s reactions, other friends’ opinions, and your inner critic’s judgments and take a real look at what happened. Without justifying your behaviors, look at what was going on for you at the time. What was triggered? As you own your issues from a place of acceptance you will heal them. You will then be able to communicate to your friend from a place of self-forgiveness and bigness instead of shame and neediness. We all make mistakes – that’s how we learn and grow.

Check your motivation. What is the purpose of your apology letter? Is to release guilt, ask for forgiveness, make amends, repair the friendship, or a bit of everything? Releasing guilt and being forgiven are things we need to do for ourselves as no one can really do them for us. Be clear about what you hope to accomplish before you write the letter and ask yourself if this is the most appropriate way to achieve this. Put yourself in your friend’s shoes and reflect on what they need to hear from you.

Write from the heart and soul. If you write an apology letter from your intellect only, it may come across as cool and insincere. You may end up justifying your behavior, rather than building a connection with your friend. If you write solely from your emotions, you might be reactive or smothering. If you communicate from your heart and soul, you will write from a place of authenticity, honesty and clarity. You will be guided by your higher self to express your deepest truth. Take 10 or 15 minutes before you write to relax your mind, release emotions, and center within your spiritual self. Then allow your heart to lead the way as you write.

Once you’ve written the letter of apology, set your intention for it to be received in the best way and then let go of all expectations. This will create a space for something new to emerge.

I hope these suggestions help. Do you have any questions or further ideas on writing an apology letter to a friend? Please share below.

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Dear Readers,

I am not able to be on the computer much these days due to my current activities, so I won't be able to respond to comments very often.

I encourage you though, to use the comment section as a place to share your experience, read about others' and to respond to and support each other with your situations.

Take care,

Gini

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12 Responses to Writing an Apology Letter to a Friend

  1. nueveh'z property says:

    i like it

  2. Susan says:

    I sent a very sincere apology and got no response. This friend refuses to talk to me stating she needs to collect her thoughts to figure out where this friendship will go. She is claiming I talked shit on her family, She says I called her brother a druggie, which I recall saying something like that but don’t remember what context or if we both were talking about it at the time. I also mentioned that she is like her mom, not because her mom is bad, but that her mom does not talk to her when she is mad. So in my apology letter I asked for forgiveness, said I make mistakes, also quoted from an earlier email in our friendship that she said to be honest with her, she is a big girl and she can handle it. She also said that words will not push her away, and that our frienship was strong enough to withstand anything.
    Well apparently not. I honestly do NOT know the real reason she has not talked to me in 2 weeks. She doesn’t reply to me. So in the apology email I laid my soul out and asked for forgiveness. It came from a place of being honest and sincere. Got no response other than her gtalk status saying “Sometimes you need to distance yourself from people to make them realize you don’t always have to be there and you are not one to be taken for granted”. The funny part of this is she is THE MOST SELFISH person and only thinks of herself. It is always about her. So what do I do now?

  3. Gini Grey says:

    Hello Susan,

    It sounds like you’ve done all you can for now. You asked for forgiveness but it’s up to your friend how she feels about it. If your friend is a selfish person it will be hard for her to see things from your point of view and all you can do is accept this as the current reality (not that you like it, but that it’s what is).

    Your friend may be trying to end the relationship but not know how, or she may be confused about her role in all of it and need time to sort it through (she may not be used to someone being so honest and asking for forgiveness – she may feel uncomfortable about how to respond to may not be able to accept your love and forgiveness if she has low self esteem etc.).

    Perhaps giving her time and giving you both some distance will help you to see if you really want to be friends with her and vice versa.

    Take care,

    Gini

  4. Susan says:

    Well it has been a month no and still no word from my friend! She did tell another girl that I had told people and they called and told her I was talking trash on her. But I never said a negative thing about her just told some people what happened and was seeking advice on how to fix it because she is not talking to me. I called and left her a message saying that I did talk to people and that it was to fix it since she refuses to talk. I also said that had she told me something upset her right away this would be done. The people I told said that she was acting immature and that she needed to grow up. So why would they go run to her?

    I do think she got scared since she really doesn’t have any close friends and this feeling ( she said she has never felt like this about anyone before) scared her. She is married and pregnant with her 6th kid. I was the first person she told even before her husband. We also got a friendship tattoo.

    I suppose this friendship is over. She has not been the office for the last two weeks. I feel like she is avoiding me but I don’t do anything to her. Anyway I guess it is best I move on.

  5. Gini Grey says:

    Hello Susan,

    Yes, it does sound best at this time to move on. If you’re still thinking of her and wanting to re-establish a friendship in six months or so you could try to contact her again, but otherwise it would probably feel best to let go and trust you will connect with better matched friends in the future.

    Take care,

    Gini

  6. Wendy Williams says:

    I have just ended 2 friendships which lasted since high school. It all started this July. I received an email which i forwarded to the one friend, Sheena. It was titled “when friendship ends”. I hadn’t heard from her for quite a while. Her brother died in December 25 and i had contacted her then to sympathise and later to check up on her via email and sms. I am overseas and told them both that i would be home in March and hoped that we could meet. Through her successive emails after she confided in me that she was hurt by a lie i had told and she had to get it off her chest because she always felt that she lived by a code of honesty and truth and that is why she was distant. This LIE i told was in 2009! I fell pregnant before getting married, and i told them that i had gotten married first in my husbands country. I lied because i was initally embarrassed by my mistake and knew that they were slightly prudish when it came to sleeping around before marriage. There were other circumstances ie my husbands father was dying and we got his blessing before he died, we wanted to but couldn’t get married in his country because he is muslim and the imam wanted my father present. Anyway – i was apalled that all this time, she couldn’t confront me with this. I decided that if wants honesty, then she would get it from me. All that i had on my conscience i let it out to her. The fact that we all have gone our separate ways, i was always the one to contact them and stay in touch, i was always the one to arrange the meetings, except for my birthday – they didn’t contact me or involve me with what was changing or happening in their lives. With Claudette i sent her a very expensive wedding present yet she didn’t even bother to send me a gift for my baby as a newborn when i was home or even later when he was a year old. Neither bothered to attend the wedding i had…. They were only 6hours away and made feeble excuses. Also I loved and respected them and didn’t want to bring shame on their family when they had to tell them the reason why i got married so quickly. i did it to protect them. Because they had such high moral values they wouldn’t understand the situation i was in. That was when i realised that i have lost my friends long time ago and we, no I, was just maintaining contact because of the bond we used to share back in school. Later i found out that the other friend who got married (i was pregnant – not allowed to fly home because i had high blood pressure), fell pregnant and had her baby in May. I am a midwife, and also her supposed friend – she excluded me from something so lifechanging and important in her life….. I asked them both why. From Sheeena – she said that it was not her place to tell me – i told her that if i was in her situation i would have found some way to hint at me that there was a problem between Claudette and I – i didn’t expect her to betray a confidence but she failed to realise that this behaviour was toxic and had repercusssions. The longer it was left and not confronted the worse it got. I tried to call Claudette, sent her sms – she did not answer her phone, put her phone on voicemail, cut me off during a call and didn’t return my sms. SILENCE. Do you think this is adult behavior. This tit for tat, showed me that they both had no love or care for me. You just don’t treat people this way. After more than 20years of knowing each other – to treat me like nothing, just because of a small lie, which she failed to confront me with long ago. I realised that we were not friends for long time. Friends are supposed to support each other, no hurt each other. I mean’t them no hurt. I tried to protect their sensibilities…. We have become strangers to each other. I sent the one and email closing our friendship and the other an sms, thanking them for the previous years of friendship. I have to move on, i have found other friends who understand the person i have now become. I feel sorry for my friends – that at 40years of age – they behave like children, can be so cold and hardhearted. Claudette is a catholic christian – i said that in the old testament it was taught “eye of an eye”, and the new testament taught “turn the other cheek”. I’m glad i found this out now. It’s a new year soon, then i amd 40years old in April. Time for changes and new beginnings. It still hurts, feels like i am grieving, but i know i will get through this

  7. Gini Grey says:

    Hello Wendy,

    From everything you said, it sounds like you are better off without your previous friends and you know this. If you can forgive them for their behavior, for not being the kind of friend you needed and were to them, for not keeping their hearts open but instead judging from their heads, you will release the hurt quicker, particularly because right now you have friends who do understand you.

    I hope your heart mends soon and fills with the love that is always there for you.

    Take care,

    Gini

  8. Noelle says:

    Gini,

    I had a huge falling out with a friend of mine about a year ago. He asked me never to contact him again after he ended the friendship. He did say he may be open to reconnecting later but he needed time. I’ve heard through others though he wants nothing to do with me. I miss him terribly and have had many months to reflect and realized I did some things wrong. I’ve tried to own up to my own mistakes but have never directly apologized, perhaps because I wasn’t completely honest of what I contributed to this. I want to reach out again and say sincerely I’m sorry. I worry it won’t be well received though. Is it worth trying?

  9. Gini Grey says:

    Hello Noelle,

    If you feel drawn to apologize directly, don’t worry about how it is received. All you can do is your best at being honest – it’s up to your friend how he receives is, but you will feel good for doing it and then hopefully be able to let it go and move on.

    Take care,

    Gini

  10. Noelle says:

    Hi Gini,

    I did end up delivering a note to my friend. I didn’t see them, but left it in the mailbox. I haven’t heard anything, not that I really expected to – but I guess in a way I did. I’m still extremely sad about this and doing my best to move on but it’s difficult. I just don’t understand how some people can end a friendship and act like you no longer exist when you’ve shared so much. Thanks for this blog!

    Noelle

  11. ASTAN says:

    So me and my friend have not been talking for 2 months now this is what happenedI was pissed off already and she was like I had fun with out you this weekend then she said why didn’t you come get me from the gym and I was like I don’t know then tyreses Brandon and raykwon came over and we Were talking about birthdays then she said all of there birthdays and she said isn’t your birthday like on the 26 or the 28 then I said 28 and I was mad because she didn’t even remember my birthday so I also Put it to the side then we were walking up the stairs and she was telling what she was going to wear with her MJ shirt then she said that she has To go get her shoes from tammia then u was like that’s nasty then she said no its not blah blah blah then Brandon came then she asked him I’d it nasty to share clothes not shoes but clothes then he said no boy with your family then she said tammia or what ever her name is said it was nasty so then I was like don’t call me tammia then she said tammia tammia tammia then I slapped her In her face I was not even thinking about it then it just happened slap I. The face then Brandon was like you just got bitch slapped then she punched my arm then during a fire drill 2 days later we had a fire drill and raykwon tried to get me and her to make up and tried to make us back friends then he tried to make her sit next to me and I said I don’t sit by hoes and then she confronted me in 6 period and she said what did you say about me when I left and I said I don’t sit by hoes then she walked around the desk and she said bet you say it to my face and I said hoe and then she said okay bitch that’s why your ugly blah blah blah just because your bigger than me that dosent mean you can beat me up then I said you can’t fight then she said yes the fuck I can I will beat your ass then she said that you want to brag about how I slapped you me in the face then I was like oh and she said fuck you that’s how I feel she said we are never going to be friends again

    So what do I do to make our friend ship work again because she is very stubborn and she told my friend she wanted to kill me

  12. Gini Grey says:

    Hello Astan,

    I’m not sure whether to laugh or cry at your situation – whether you are serious or justing having a laugh! If you are serious, you might want to put yourself in your friend’s position and think about how you would feel if she slapped you? What would it take for you to forgive her? What would you need to hear from her?

    Her behavior sounds like she is reacting to feeling perhaps betrayed by you slapping her, or perhaps the two of you don’t have a deep friendship and she just wants to let it go.

    Have you tried writing her an apology letter like the article you commented after suggested? Try writing one that is a draft and let all your feeling out (your hurt, anger etc.). Then wait a day or two and see if you feel like writing it again from a more calm place. Once you can write from a sincere place of apology, then you might try sending it to her and see if she forgives you.

    Take care,

    Gini

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