There is nothing more hurtful than being betrayed by the people who are supposed to care for us most.
When a good friend lets us down, it can leave us questioning whether that friendship is worth continuing.
After all, what is the point of spending time with and showing care and support for someone we cannot trust.
The truth is, in order to move on from being hurt by a friend, we need an to hear a sincere apology that conveys that our friend understands how badly they’ve hurt us and why their actions were unacceptable.
Even so, we may not always be ready to simply hear their “I’m sorry” and decide that all is forgiven.
However we feel about the apology, it can be tricky to find the words to express our emotions.
Here is a handy guide to help you work out how best to respond to an apology from a friend in a variety of different situations.
11 ways to respond to an apology from a friend
- Thank you for saying that. I was really upset when it happened, but I forgive you now.
- I appreciate your apology and I forgive you.
- That’s okay, I know you never meant to hurt me.
- It means a lot that you’ve apologized so sincerely. I forgive you. Let’s move on.
- Thank you for your heartfelt apology. I’m sorry too and I’m ready to move on from this if you are.
- That’s okay. I know you were going through a hard time too. Next time we’re feeling upset with each other, let’s just talk it through.
- I appreciate you saying that, but I have been so hurt that it’s hard to move on from this. I think I still need a bit of time to think things through.
- Thank you for your apology. I’m sorry, but I just don’t think our friendship is ever going to be the same after what you did, and I’m not sure I’m ready to forgive you yet.
- Yeah, there’s absolutely no way I’m going to forgive you for what you did.
- You hurt me so badly and I don’t think I’ll ever be able to forgive you.
- What you did showed me so clearly that you just don’t care about me, and I don’t think I’ll ever be able to move on from that.
How to respond to an apology from a friend if you forgive them
They say that when we forgive others, we are really doing ourselves a kindness. There is no emotion as toxic as anger, which can really eat us up from the inside and make us bitter.
So, if you truly believe your friend is sorry for what they did, then you will probably feel much happier in the long run if you forgive them than if you hold on to a grudge to prove a point.
1. Thank you for saying that. I was really upset when it happened, but I forgive you now.
This response thanks your friend for taking the time to apologize. While it conveys forgiveness, it also reminds them of how sad you were about what they did.
This is the perfect way to respond to an apology from a friend if you want to show that you forgive them, but that you are not someone who spends their time suffering fools gladly.
This response tells them that they will need to be more considerate in the future if they want to maintain a relationship with you.
2. I appreciate your apology and I forgive you.
If you really just want to leave the whole incident in the past and move on, this is a great way to respond to an apology.
Thank the person apologizing and tell them you forgive them.
Simple as that. No drama involved.
3. That’s okay, I know you never meant to hurt me.
If someone apologizes after accidentally upsetting you, there is no need to make them feel bad forever.
Simply tell them everything is okay and that you know they didn’t do what they did in order to cause you pain.
4. It means a lot that you’ve apologized so sincerely. I forgive you. Let’s move on.
When accepting an apology from a friend, it is best to resist the temptation to go over what happened again and again. If they’ve apologized, they know what they’ve done wrong.
Whether you are choosing to forgive someone who is apologizing for being disrespectfulor are considering how to respond to an apology email, don’t say, “Yes, but what really upset me about what you did was X.”
Instead, take the high road. Let sleeping dogs lie and just agree to move on.
5. Thank you for your heartfelt apology. I’m sorry too and I’m ready to move on from this if you are.
There is something special about acknowledging how heartfelt and genuine an apology is. It is easy to go through the perfunctory motions of saying “I’m sorry,” without really feeling the weight of the words.
For example, when people add “sorry for the inconvenience” to the end of an email, they are hardly feeling the emotional gravity of the word “sorry.”
So, when a friend who has hurt you tells you how truly sorry they are, thank them for how genuine their apology is.
6. That’s okay. I know you were going through a hard time too. Next time we’re feeling upset with each other, let’s just talk it through.
If you know that part of the reason your friend hurt you is because they were not doing well, you can acknowledge this when you forgive them for their actions.
This will go a long way towards making them feel seen and appreciated, which will ultimately strengthen your friendship.
How to respond to an apology from a friend if you don’t forgive them
If you aren’t ready to forgive someone for hurting you, it can be difficult to know how to respond when they apologize.
Making an effective apology is a skill, and it is not one everyone possesses.
Whether you cannot forgive your friend because of the nature of the original offense or because the apology they gave you simply doesn’t cut it, be as straightforward as you can about how you feel.
7. I appreciate you saying that, but I have been so hurt that it’s hard to move on from this. I think I still need a bit of time to think things through.
This is a highly mature response to give in a situation in which you do not think you can forgive your friend for the hurt they have caused you.
It lets them know that you appreciate their effort to make amends, but you just need a little more time to work through how you feel and to consider whether you can genuinely get over the pain they caused you.
8. Thank you for your apology. I’m sorry, but I just don’t think our friendship is ever going to be the same after what you did, and I’m not sure I’m ready to forgive you yet.
This response takes a similar approach to the previous one. It lets your friend know that what they did was simply too painful for you to get over so quickly.
It does, however, leave the door open for things to get better in time.
9. Yeah, there’s absolutely no way I’m going to forgive you for what you did.
This is a fairly harsh line to take when someone has apologized to you.
However, if you feel so deeply hurt that you just don’t think you’ll be able to move on, it’s best to be honest about that and leave your friendship in the past.
10. You hurt me so badly and I don’t think I’ll ever be able to forgive you.
If someone has caused you to spend nights crying alone, has totally betrayed your trust, or has just been downright cruel, you really shouldn’t be friends with them.
Even though you might feel the urge to send an “I miss you” message or text down the line, try to resist the urge.
Toxic friendships can be detrimental to your mental health, and the most important thing you should focus on is taking care of your own wellbeing.
11. What you did showed me so clearly that you just don’t care about me, and I don’t think I’ll ever be able to move on from that.
If someone’s conduct clearly shows that they do not care about how their actions affect your feelings, it is probably time to end the friendship.
Don’t feel bad about not forgiving someone who has demonstrated a total disregard for your wellbeing and happiness.
That is the opposite of what a friend is supposed to do, and so it is no wonder that you no longer want to be friends with someone who always put themselves and their needs before you and yours.
Hey fellow Linguaholics! It’s me, Marcel. I am the proud owner of linguaholic.com. Languages have always been my passion and I have studied Linguistics, Computational Linguistics and Sinology at the University of Zurich. It is my utmost pleasure to share with all of you guys what I know about languages and linguistics in general.