The Difference Between Making Amends and Making Apologies

In these instances, the best thing you can do is to focus on your behavior and remain faithful to your commitment to live an honest, sober life. All types of amends are good, but living amends are some of the best kinds you can make! They affirm your decision to make lifelong changes, which has a positive effect on both you and everyone around you. Arrange to speak with the other person – while COVID-19 has complicated this process, making amends face-to-face is encouraged.

Finally, when we can be accountable and make amends, we are forced to face our humanness. It’s painful, but it forces us to understand ourselves more deeply and hold ourselves with compassion. It helps us learn from the experience and grow – in our relationship with ourselves and our capacity to love others. When we harm others, we harm ourselves in the process, and rationalizing or defending only makes us feel worse.

Renewal Center for Ongoing Recovery

My husband already addressed what his poor choices cost me and our marriage in response to the earlier Cost letter. However, this was an opportunity for my husband to show he understood he owed me something. He understood some rebuilding needed to occur, which we were doing, but he had to own most of it.

In simple terms, it means taking responsibility for the person you used to be and how you caused harm to the people in your life who care about you. State how you are taking personal responsibility for the hurt you’ve caused. Making amends means apologizing but also goes one step further—doing everything in your power to repair the damage, restore the relationship, and/or, replace what you took. If you’re writing a letter, whether sending or sharing it in person, spend some time reflecting on and sharing the actions you’re taking to redress the wrong(s) done. It may be difficult to accept that you’re not always going to be able to make amends to people who you’ve wronged in some way. Some might be too tested by prior behaviors and actions that they simply need space.

More meanings of amends

Yet, to be truly successful at forgiving and releasing past wrongs, you need to go directly to the individual you’ve hurt. When you go directly to the person, real spiritual transformation is more likely to occur. After acknowledging how actions tied to their what is a living amends addictions had a negative impact on people in their lives, those in 12-step recovery programs commit to making direct amends whenever possible. A 12-step program is designed to encourage long-term sobriety, by fostering a spirituality for recovery.

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