How to Apologize Through a Text

By William McCoy

If you've made a mistake by either saying something or doing something you shouldn't have, it's important that you apologize to those affected by your error in judgment. You can fix small mistakes with a simple apology, while bigger miscues might require additional restitution. It's ideal to apologize to the person you've wronged in person, but when that's not possible, you can do so via a text message. Keep the message brief, explain your error and ask forgiveness.

Step 1

Open the SMS text messaging option on your cell phone, and enter the recipient's cell phone number in the address bar.

Step 2

Keep the text message short. It can be time consuming to both type and read a text message. In most cases, your text message needs to stay under 160 characters, which is only a couple sentences. If you need to use a second text message to conclude the apology, do so, but draw the line at using a third. No one wants to keep receiving a continuing text message.

Step 3

Explain that you are sorry for what you did, and take ownership for your actions. Now isn't the time to justify why you did what you did. Instead, admit that you were in the wrong and that you are sorry.

Step 4

Explain that you are sorry your actions hurt the other person, especially if he's someone you care about. Whether it's a colleague, friend or family member, explain that your intention was not to be thoughtless and hurtful.

Step 5

Conclude your message by saying you'd like to call the person to discuss the situation, and remember to do so after you've sent the message.

Step 6

Send the message by pressing the "Send" button, or whatever button you use for this purpose. Ensure the text message sends correctly, and wait for a response. After a length of time, whether you've heard back or not, follow up with an apologetic phone call.

Tips & Warnings

  • To reduce the number of characters in your message, you can use short forms such as "U" for "you" and "2" for "two." Remember, this form of writing makes your message more informal, but it might be needed to stay under the character limit.
  • If you're apologizing for something major, don't do so with a text message. Larger apologies must be made in person.