How to Make a Genuine Amends

Updated: Mar 27, 2019

Step 9 of 12. Making amends.

Whether or not you're working a 12 step program, it's always a good idea to make amends to those whom you hurt. Knowing how to apologize and when can repair damage in a relationship, but if you don't know how to make a genuine apology, you can actually make things worse!

Roadblocks to overcome:

Fear of lingering resentment.

When you know you're damaged a relationship because of your actions or lying, it can be really scary to get to that point of making amends. You're afraid that the person you're apologizing to isn't going to reciprocate it. That's normal. Don't let that fear get in the way.

Is the apology too late?

As a kid, we were taught to apologize immediately. So it only makes sense that as an adult we feel the apology isn't going to feel sincere or that we've missed our chance to really have an impact. Better late than never.

Tips for making a sincere apology:

  1. Hold yourself accountable, and do not deflect the blame or make excuses for your actions.

  2. Express your understanding for the pain you brought to them.

  3. Let them know you value the relationship you have and that it's important for you to repair it.

  4. Bonus tip-Disclose something they didn't already know. This will put you on a whole different level of giving a sincere apology.

Making amends with somebody is a crucial part of your personal growth and of their healing process. This step will bring peace and closure to damaged relationships.

Amber Hollingsworth,

Hope for Families Recovery Center

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