Apology Quotes – I’m Sorry Quotes

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One of the hardest things you may ever have to do in life is to deliver an apology, but reading some apology quotes is a good start.

Many people say a quick “I’m sorry” without really thinking about it, because they want to move on or simply have their own way. However, this waters down the value of an apology, and can mean that a person you truly care about grows to doubt you and your sincerity.

A true and sincere apology offers real regret and remorse for our actions, and carries a promise that we won’t do it again. It means acknowledging our faults, taking responsibility for the things we have done wrong, and opens a dialogue between two people. An apology, when correctly given and sincerely meant, can create deeper and more trusting relationships.

Whether you have something to be sorry for, or are ruminating on an apology from someone else, here are the best quotes about apologies and saying you’re sorry.

Apology Quotes

Benjamin Franklin quote "Never ruin an apology with an excuse"
“Never ruin an apology with an excuse.” – Benjamin Franklin

An apology is a lovely perfume; it can transform the clumsiest moment into a gracious gift.

Margaret Lee Runbeck

The only correct actions are those that demand no explanation and no apology.

Red Auerbach

Life becomes easier when you learn to accept an apology you never got.

Robert Brault

Never make a defense or an apology until you are accused.

King Charles I
Unknown quote "An apology is a good way to have the last word"
“An apology is a good way to have the last word.” – Unknown

True remorse is never just a regret over consequence; it is a regret over motive.

Mignon McLaughlin

My life is an apology for the life of my father.

Kristin Cashore

Faithless is he that says farewell when the road darkens.


‘I’m sorry you’re angry’ is NOT an apology.

Lisa Lutz
Benjamin Disraeli quote "Apologies only account for that which they do not alter"
“Apologies only account for that which they do not alter.” – Benjamin Disraeli

You can make up a quarrel, but it will always show where it was patched.

Edgar Watson Howe

The most important trip you may take in life is meeting people halfway.

Henry Boye

Never apologize, mister, it’s a sign of weakness.

John Wayne

My husband doesn’t apologize. Even to Me.

Claire Underwood, House of Cards
Oliver Wendell Holmes quote "Apology is only egotism wrong side out"
“Apology is only egotism wrong side out.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

I am determined to offer an apology with my death.

Hideki Tojo

Apologies are great, but they don’t really change anything. You know what does? Action.

Stella Young

If an apology is followed by an excuse or a reason, it means they are going to commit same mistake again they just apologized for.

Amit Kalantri

Apologizing does not always mean you’re wrong and the other person is right. It just means you value your relationship more than your ego.

Mark Matthews
Lynn Johnston quote "An apology is the superglue of life! It can repair just about anything!"
“An apology is the superglue of life! It can repair just about anything!” – Lynn Johnston

Maturity is the ability to reap without apology and not complain when things don’t go well.

Jim Rohn

The ability of a person to atone has always been the most remarkable of human features.

Leon Uris

Pride and ego makes a mockery of an apology. Humility wins forgiveness without question…so break ‘yo’self’!

T. F. Hodge

A stiff apology is a second insult…. The injured party does not want to be compensated because he has been wronged; he wants to be healed because he has been hurt.

G. K. Chesterton

Accept everything about yourself – I mean everything, You are you and that is the beginning and the end – no apologies, no regrets.

Henry Kissinger
Bryan Davis apology quote "Sacrifice is at the heart of repentance. Without deeds, your apology is worthless"
“Sacrifice is at the heart of repentance. Without deeds, your apology is worthless.” – Bryan Davis

I understand the concept of being the bigger person but I do not understand why some people apologize to others when they weren’t wrong.


Remember, we all stumble, every one of us. That’s why it’s a comfort to go hand in hand.

Emily Kimbrough

Never apologize for showing your feelings. When you do, you are apologizing for the truth.

Jose N. Harris

Never forget the nine most important words of any family – I love you. You are beautiful. Please forgive me.

H. Jackson Brown Jr.

I believe that things should be let go once they are discussed. Apology accepted. End of story.

Brad Goreski
Michael Chabon apology quote "It is always so simple, and so complicating, to accept an apology"
“It is always so simple, and so complicating, to accept an apology.” – Michael Chabon

Some people accidentally walk on your feet and apologize, while others walk all over your heart and don’t even realize.


Friends are God’s apology for relations.

Hugh Kingsmill

A hero is someone we can admire without apology.

Kitty Kelley

An apology given just to appease one’s conscience is self-serving and better left unspoken!

Evinda Lepins

More people should apologize, and more people should accept apologies when sincerely made.

Greg LeMond
Tyron Edwards quote "Right actions in the future are the best apologies for bad actions in the past"
“Right actions in the future are the best apologies for bad actions in the past.” – Tyron Edwards

An apology might help, but you can change your life without one.

Robin Quivers

The only good thing about punctuality is that it usually gets you an apology.


An apology for the devil: it must be remembered that we have heard one side of the case. God has written all the books.

Samuel Butler

You can always say sorry, But the real apology is when you hear the sadness in their voice and see the look in their eyes. And you realize that they have hurt themselves just as much.

Kid Cudi
Carole Radziwill quote "Delusion and denial does not equal an apology"
“Delusion and denial does not equal an apology.” – Carole Radziwill

A meaningful apology is one that communicates three R’s: regret, responsibility, and remedy.

Beverley Engel, The Power of Apology: Healing Steps to Transform All Your Relationships

When anger and bitterness overpower your goodness, you can neither apologize nor forgive.

Balroop Singh

A person can apologize endlessly, and even if you forgive them, sometimes you can’t forget the pain they’ve caused you.

Nishan Panwar

Never apologize for having high standards. People who really want to be in your life will rise up to meet them.

Suman Rai
Olivia Tsoutsoplides apology quote "One who is truly confident is able to apologize"
“One who is truly confident is able to apologize.” – Olivia Tsoutsoplides

Any good apology has 3 parts: 1)I’m sorry 2)It’s my fault 3)What can I do to make it right? Most people forget the third part.


It isn’t always to apologize for your mistakes but doing so shows a person with a strong sense of self.

Byron Pulsifer

The art of a sincere and heartfelt apology is one of the greatest skills you will ever learn.

Jeanette LeBlanc

A genuine apology is like an eleventh-hour rain on a dusty crop. Grossly overdue, but miraculously just in time.

Jacqueline A. Bussie
Jennifer Thomas apology quote "Apologies require vulnerability"
“Apologies require vulnerability.” – Jennifer Thomas

Nothing wrong with apologizing, but saying I’m sorry does nothing when you continue to make the same mistakes.


It will never do to plead sin as an excuse for sin, or to attempt to justify sinful acts by pleading that we have an evil heart. This instead of being a valid apology, is the very ground of our condemnation.

Archibald Alexander

I wish for you the wisdom to realize that forgiveness has nothing to do with an apology.

Steve Maraboli

Apology doesn’t mean that you were wrong, or other person was right. It means that your relationship is valuable than your ego.

Ain Eineziz
Marilyn L Rice apology quote "Life is one long apology"
“Life is one long apology.” – Marilyn L. Rice

An apology can be a wonderful thing so long as it is infrequent and from the heart. However, beware of the person who justifies bad behavior with apologies. For them it is a means to an end, and quite often at your expense.

Gary Hopkins

A sincere and warmly-expressed apology can produce the same effects as morphine on a suffering soul.

Richelle E. Goodrich

Apologies aren’t meant to change the past, they are meant to change the future.

Kevin Hancock
Vikrant Parsai quote "An apology is saying the right thing after doing the wrong thing"
“An apology is saying the right thing after doing the wrong thing.” – Vikrant Parsai

For every minute you are angry, you lose sixty seconds of happiness.


Mistakes are always forgivable if one has the courage to admit them.

Bruce Lee

I’m Sorry Quotes

Saying sorry to someone is hard… but putting your pride down for someone is the hardest.

Cristina Orante

In some families, please is described as the magic word. In our house, however, it was sorry.

Margaret Laurence
Beth Ravis apology quote "'I’m sorry.' The two most inadequate words in the English language"
“‘I’m sorry.’ The two most inadequate words in the English language.” – Beth Revis

Would ‘sorry’ have made any difference? Does it ever? It’s just a word. One word against a thousand actions.

Sarah Ockler

I’m sorry, if you were right, I’d agree with you.

Robin Williams

Saying ‘I’m sorry’ is saying ‘I love you’ with a wounded heart in one hand and your smothered pride in the other.

Richelle E. Goodrich
"It is incredible how many hurts can be healed by the two words, 'I'm sorry'"
“It is incredible how many hurts can be healed by the two words, ‘I’m sorry.'” – Matshona Dhliwayo

Flowers say you’re sorry. A date says you’ve learnt your lesson. A diamond says both the above. All three and you’re making her suspicious.

Saleem Sharma

I love you and I always will and I am sorry. What a useless word.

Ernest Hemingway

When you forgive, you free your soul. But when you say I’m sorry, you free two souls.

Donald L. Hicks, Look into the Stillness: A Spiritual Journey through Inspirational Quotes
Ken Poirot quote "By the time most people say 'I'm sorry' it is already too late"
“By the time most people say ‘I’m sorry’ it is already too late.” – Ken Poirot

It’s not that ‘sorry’ doesn’t mean anything; it just doesn’t mean anything when some people say it… Don’t be one of those people.

Steve Maraboli

I don’t like it, and I’m sorry I ever had anything to do with it.

Erwin Schrodinger
Cjris Kurtz apology quote "I’m not very good at saying sorry, but I apologize"
“I’m not very good at saying sorry, but I apologize.” – Chris Kurtz

Be the hero of hearts; learn to say I’m sorry.

Richelle E. Goodrich

Saying sorry to someone is hard… but putting your pride down for someone is the hardest.

Christina Orante

He who is sorry for having sinned is almost innocent.

Rachel Vincent apology quote "Chocolate says 'I’m sorry' so much better than words"
“Chocolate says “I’m sorry” so much better than words.” – Rachel Vincent

Smart people always say sorry, while the stupid ones just wait for the smart one to say sorry.


I have learned that sometimes “sorry” is not enough. Sometimes you actually have to change.

Claire London

But you know all about that, being sorry and having no words to say something when you know you should but you just can’t.

Heather Gudenkauf

Apologize quickly when you wrong someone, because ‘I’m sorry’ has no value in the grave.

Lakesha Ruise

True friends stab you in the front.

Oscar Wilde
"Play fair. Don’t hit people. Say you’re sorry when you hurt somebody"
“Play fair. Don’t hit people. Say you’re sorry when you hurt somebody.” – Robert Fulghum

We hope you’ve enjoyed these quotes about apologies and the power of saying sorry. Whatever it is you might be needing to apologize for, or however reluctant you are so accept that someone is sorry, use this as the jumping off point to move on. You’ll feel better, lighter, and freer, if you let guilt and resentment go.

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Quincy Seale

Quincy is KIM's editor, and has collected and shared inspiring quotes and stories since 2005. Quincy holds an MBA from the University of Dundee and an MSc from the University of Edinburgh, and lives in San Antonio with his wife Natalie, son Alex, and his dog Oban.

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