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20+ Ways to Respond to Sorry in Any Situation

20+ Ways to Respond to Sorry in Any Situation

Getting your feelings hurt is never a good experience, no matter who does it. But, the good thing is that hearing that the person is sorry can go a very long way in helping you to overcome the hurt.

When they say sorry, there are in fact right and wrong ways to respond. Knowing how to respond to sorry all depends on the relationship you share and the circumstances surrounding the apology.

In this article, we‘ll take a look at 20 different ways you can respond to sorry in any situation, whether it has come in response to something that was said or done, and even in cases where the apology was not genuine.

We‘ll also let you know why each response is appropriate for each situation.


Ideas of Responding to Sorry When Someone Has Said Something That Offended You

Words are very powerful, and sometimes they can cut like knives and really hurt others. If this has happened to you and the person has apologized, here is how to respond to sorry.

01“Thank you. I appreciate you saying that.”
Saying thank you for the apology lets the person know that you have accepted their plea, and that it has helped you to feel better.


woman holding her hands together
Photo by acworks on photo-ac


02“I‘m sorry, too.”
Often times, arguments don‘t have just one guilty party. Where there is a heated exchange on both sides, each person can drive the other to say things meaner than they would otherwise. In a case such as this, saying you‘re sorry too helps the both of you to heal.


03“It‘s okay. I forgive you.”
Say this if the person keeps apologizing because they are genuinely sorry. It lets them know you are over the problem, and that they can stop beating themselves up now.


04“Don‘t mention it.”
If a friend has said something hurtful unintentionally, this response is good since it shows that you realize it was not malicious, and that you have moved past it.


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Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on unsplash


05“I‘m glad you apologized. It means a lot to me.”
This is good to use for an apology you did not expect but is very meaningful. It also helps to make the other person stop feeling bad about what was said.


06“I only accept cash apologies.”
This can be used after a quarrel with a friend or family member as a funny way to show that everything‘s all good now. However, it is best to make sure the other person has the right sense of humor for this one too!


man holding glass jar with money

Photo by Melissa Walker Horn on unsplash


Ideas for How to Respond to Sorry When Someone has Done Something Wrong at Work/School

Actions speak volumes, and sometimes what a person does can affect you in such a negative way that it causes you to feel extremely bad. Here are 7 ideas for how to respond to sorry when it happens at work or school.

07“Thanks, just don‘t let it happen again.”
If you are not close to a classmate or coworker, this is an appropriate response to use to show that you accept the apology. It also subtly warns them not to do it again.


man holding glass jar with money

Photo by acworks on photo-ac


08“You should be. But I forgive you.”
This one is kind of a guilt trip, but it helps to emphasize the fact that what the speaker did was very wrong. It also shows that you are no longer upset about the wrongdoing.



09“But I already reserved a room in hell for you.”
If the person at school or work is someone that you are close with and like a lot, this is a cool response that makes light of what happened. This joke says that what they did would earn them a spot in hell, and that it‘s too late for sorry.


10“Too late to cancel the hitman now.”
This is another funny idea for how to respond to sorry. In the mafia or any gang, when one person wrongs another, a hit is put on them. Saying this shows that what the person did was super bad, but of course, you didn‘t actually put out a hit. You are just trying to be funny. Again, you need to be sure for this one that the person has the right sense of humor.


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Photo by Andre Hunter on unsplash


11“Don‘t be sorry. Be better, and think about what you are doing a bit more.”
This type of response should be used on a repeat offender who does hurtful things all the time and keeps saying sorry. This shows that you are fed up, and you are no longer interested in sorry, but instead want to see the person change for the better.


12“I appreciate the apology, but something like that cannot be forgiven so easily.”
In a case where what was done has affected you so severely that sorry is not enough, and for the wrongdoing to not happen again, you might need to teach this person a lesson by not accepting the apology. This response is perfect for that.


13“Thanks, but just know that I‘d never do something like that to you.”
This response is for when you accept the apology but still want them to feel bad. It can also make you feel like the bigger person.


Ideas for How to Respond to Sorry When Someone Misunderstood You

Misunderstandings happen all the time but can be corrected by a simple ‘I‘m sorry.’ Don‘t know how to respond to sorry in this type of situation? Here are 5 examples.

14“It‘s fine. Happens to the best of us.”
This response says that we‘re all human, and we all make mistakes, and you understand that. This helps to make you both feel better and move on.


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Photo by Alek Bujišić under pexels license


15“Thanks, no harm done.”
If the miscommunication was caught in the early stages before any real damage was done, you could use this phrase to let the apologizer know that everything‘s good between the two of you.


16“It’s not a big deal! Don‘t worry about it.”
This response lets the person know that you aren‘t losing sleep over it.



17“Water under the bridge.”
This is an old phrase which means that whatever happened in the past is no longer an issue to you, and that you aren‘t holding a grudge.


brown bridge body of water
Photo by Brandon DesJarlais on unsplash


18“I understand completely. No worries.”
Use this response to show that you understand what happened, and that you aren‘t mad about it.


Ways to Respond When Someone Says Sorry Without Sincerity

Not every apology is genuine, and how you choose to respond to it is entirely up to you. Here are 6 ideas for how to respond to sorry when it‘s fake.

19“Yeah, right.”
This response is sarcastic and shows that you know that the speaker is not being sincere. It will let them feel bad for trying to deceive you.


20“Apology accepted.”
Even though the apology was fake, it is sometimes much easier to move on than to prolong the argument and cause more problems. It really isn‘t worth it sometimes.


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Image from Pixabay under pexels license


This simple response to a fake apology can make the person who said it feel confused and maybe even stupid. They will wonder if you picked up on the lie, and it will drive this person crazy thinking about it.


22“For what?”
If you are not sure if the apology is real or not, this is a good way to find out. If the apologizer cannot provide a good answer, then you will automatically know that they are not being sincere about it.



23“I hear you.”
This response is meant to be sort of sarcastic. It says that I hear what you‘re saying, but I‘m not listening to your lies.


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Photo by Alireza Attari on unsplash


This response is sure to confuse the person who gave a fake apology. When you laugh, walk away to show that the apologizer is a joke to you.



You now have all these ideas for how to how to respond to sorry, and it is up to you to choose the most appropriate one for the situation you are in. Choose wisely!