Asking for forgiveness can be tricky if you don’t know what to say. Sometimes, people struggle to apologize, so they avoid it instead, worsening the situation. When you ask for forgiveness, it offers the opportunity to repair relationships and correct wrongdoings.

Asking for forgiveness is also an act of compassion, helping you and the other person maintain emotional stability. It allows both of you to move on from the past and begin anew. When you’re harboring guilt or regret, it can be hard to feel happy and fulfilled.

While you might feel like it isn’t easy to ask for forgiveness, it isn’t easy for others to forgive, either. Both people in this situation have something to work through, and it doesn’t always go as planned. No matter what happens, though, you must work on asking for forgiveness.

Fifteen Phrases to Use When Asking for Forgiveness

When asking for forgiveness, you must admit fault and acknowledge that you did something wrong. These phrases can help you say the right thing when apologizing to someone you care about. Be sincere when you approach them because your body language matters, too.

asking for forgiveness
1. I know words are not enough, but I’m asking you to forgive me for what I did.

Sometimes, words can’t make the situation better. Apologizing is still essential, of course, but even you will know that your comments can’t fix what happened. By acknowledging this to the other person, they will realize that you understand the severity of the situation.

When the other person knows that you understand the pain you caused, they’ll be more likely to forgive you. Don’t just assume they’ll forgive you, though, as you still have to ask them to.

2. I acknowledge that I wrongly put my happiness before yours, and I hope you forgive me.

Many times, you’ll hurt someone when you put your happiness before theirs. While you should look after yourself, you shouldn’t do so at the expense of others. If you made that mistake with someone you care about, use this phrase when asking for forgiveness.

You can’t expect someone to let this behavior fly, so when you realize that you did it, apologize as soon as you can. Be upfront and admit your wrongdoing as you ask for forgiveness.

3. I don’t expect you to forgive me right away, but I hope you can eventually.

Apologizing for hurting someone doesn’t mean you get automatic forgiveness. Even after your apology, the other person will still be overcoming the feelings you caused. You can’t expect them to forgive you right away, so make sure they know that you understand it will take time.

When you consider their feelings in this way, they’ll be more likely to forgive you sooner. It likely won’t happen right away, but apologizing starts you on that path. Most people won’t consider forgiveness without an apology first, so don’t wait for them to come to you.

4. I have no excuse for my behavior, and I’m sorry that it happened.

Admit that you were wrong, and don’t try to make excuses. Making excuses could push the other person further away because they’ll realize that you aren’t sincere. It gives a sense that you don’t realize that what you did was wrong.

For a sincere apology, use a phrase like this so that they know you aren’t deflecting responsibility. This phrase is straight to the point, letting the other person know that it’s heavy on your mind.

5. I am ashamed of myself for hurting you.

When you hurt someone you care about, make sure they know how badly you feel about it. If that person knows you’re upset and ashamed of yourself, they’ll be more likely to accept your apology. They want you to understand how much you hurt them, and they want to see remorse for it.

6. I hope you can forgive me for failing you.

If you let someone down and you could have prevented it, they will likely be upset. When this happens, admit that you failed your friend and ask for their forgiveness. Admitting your fault in the situation can make all the difference in whether they forgive you or not.

7. I apologize unconditionally, and I know it still isn’t enough.

Sometimes an apology isn’t enough, but you must do it anyway. In those situations, make sure the other person knows that you understand your words aren’t enough. Make the apology as sincere as possible by using this phrase.

asking for forgiveness
8. I am so sorry for how much pain I caused you.

If you want someone to forgive you, then you must acknowledge the pain that you caused them. Don’t try to downplay their feelings or your behavior, as that will only make the situation worse. Instead, own up to the pain and express your sorrow at making them feel that way.

9. I am so sorry that this miscommunication made you feel frustrated.

Sometimes, you’ll have to apologize when you feel like the situation wasn’t your fault. These times can be complicated because you don’t want to blame, but you still want to heal the relationship. Luckily, this phrase can help you get through it.

When you aren’t entirely at fault, the issue is likely due to a miscommunication. If this is the case, make sure you use the word miscommunication in your phrase. Don’t blame the other person, either, as that’ll only worsen the tension.

10. From now on, I’ll make sure to handle things differently.

When you apologize, make sure the other person knows you’ll do better the next time. To show that you’re genuinely sorry, changing your behavior is crucial. You can’t just tell the person that you’ll change, though, but you have to follow through, too.

11. I was wrong for what I did, and I’m sorry.

Making mistakes is a part of being human, but you have to own up to it. Admit when you were wrong, and ask for forgiveness. While everyone messes up, you can’t just pretend nothing happened and expect the other person to go along with it.

12. I’m sorry I handled things this way, and I promise next time will be different.

Start your apologizing by admitting you didn’t handle things the right way. When you do this, the other person will realize that you know why they are angry or upset. Then, promise that it won’t happen again, but only if you mean it.

When you acknowledge the issue and admit fault, the other person will know that you mean it when you apologize. Plus, admitting guilt will help them believe you when you say things will be different in the future.

If you use this phrase, make sure to follow through on your promise. You must make an effort to ensure the situation never occurs again because forgiveness may not come a second time.

13. I’m not perfect, but I mean it when I tell you that I’m sorry.

No one is perfect, and that includes you. Admit it when you make a mistake or hurt someone. It’ll mean more when you point out that you aren’t perfect and follow it up with a heartfelt apology.

While not being perfect isn’t a great excuse to hurt someone, it does show that you’re trying. When you admit that you aren’t perfect, it shows a willingness to work on your flaws. People like having someone in their life that will apologize and doesn’t act perfectly all of the time.

14. I will do whatever I can to make it up to you.

Words aren’t always enough when you’ve hurt someone. By telling them that you’ll do whatever it takes to earn their forgiveness, they’ll see that you’re serious. Your sincerity might be the determining factor in getting someone to forgive you.

15. Take your time forgiving me, but know that I am so sorry.

You have to give the other person time when you’ve done something wrong. Forgiveness doesn’t always happen quickly, and respecting their time and process can help. Make sure they know you’re sorry for what you did, and then give them the time and space that they need.

Plus, remember that when they start to forgive you, things might not be the same at first. It takes time for the healing and forgiveness process to happen. Follow the other person’s lead and let them ease back into the relationship on their terms.

asking for forgiveness
Final Thoughts on Phrases to Use When Asking for Forgiveness

No one is perfect, so you’re going to make mistakes sometimes. When you hurt someone or do something wrong, asking for forgiveness is essential. It’ll help both of you move on, and it can help repair the damage done to your relationship.

Asking for forgiveness isn’t easy, but you can do it. You’ll be glad that you did once it’s over with, and the other person will feel better, too. If you don’t know what to say, these phrases will help you when asking for forgiveness.