A Good Apology

Please note: This is a free preview of the Reconnection Club’s apology course. Only this lesson is available to the public. To access the full course, you must be a member.

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In this short course, you’ll learn what makes a good apology, and you’ll compose your own apology in three separate drafts, working step by step with the material in each lesson.

When you’re done, post your third draft in the Courses & Workshops forum for peer review.

See the “Action Steps” section below, and remember to download the fillable PDF worksheet for this course.

Course Outline

Lesson 1: Elements (this lesson)

Lesson 2:Language

Lesson 3: Spoilers

Introduction to the Course

A few words from Tina before you begin…

Lesson 1: Elements of a Good Apology

Let’s begin by considering the following apology, written by one of our Reconnection Club members  (many thanks to that member for this generous donation!).

Woman with ipadSample Apology

My Dear [Name],

I want to apologize from the bottom of my heart, for telling your aunt that I thought you might have a mental illness.

I shouldn’t have talked about my concerns behind your back like that; I should have asked you about it directly. You must have been shocked and embarrassed when your uncle brought it up.

I can understand why you don’t want to talk to me right now. I’d be angry too if my mother shared something like that with our relatives.

I hope you know how truly sorry I am for violating your privacy and trust. I’ve taken steps to convince your aunt that I don’t have enough information to make any pronouncements about your mental health.

Please know that I will never again talk about you like that, especially when you’re not present. Again, I’m so very sorry and hope you’re doing okay.

Your Mum XXX


The apology above contains the following elements of every good apology:




Remorse & commitment to change

Your good apology will contain these elements as well.

The sample is a little long, for illustrative purposes. Don’t make yours any longer than this.

But if you want to make your apology as short as possible (e.g., if you’re sending it via text), you’ll probably need at least three sentences to cover all the elements.

The rest of this course will expand on the color-coded elements above, examine common mistakes, and provide examples for you to build on.

Action Steps

1. Review the sample apology above, comparing the color-coded phrases with the elements they represent. If you don’t understand something, please post in the Courses & Workshops forum.

2. Based on the sample, use this fillable handout to write the first draft of your apology. IMPORTANT: Download the handout before typing anything, or your work will not be saved.

3. To understand why an apology might be helpful even if you haven’t done anything terrible, listen to our podcast episode, Why Apologize If You’re Not Guilty?

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This is a free preview. Only members can access the full course. Not a member yet? Learn more and join the Reconnection Club