Making Amends: The Dos and Don’ts 

Making Amends: The Dos and Don’ts

In Recovery by Tree House Recovery

Steps 8 and 9 of the 12-Steps are all about making amends to those we have harmed. Step 8 is all about becoming willing to make amends and creating a list, while step 9 deals with actually making amends to those we have harmed. However, it comes with a caveat: “Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others. These steps can be truly challenging and bring up feelings from the past. We may start to feel guilt, sadness, remorse, and fear. Making amends is not easy, but it is usually worth it. Here, we’ll take a look at what to do while thinking about and actually making amends and what to avoid along the way.

Consult your sponsor, therapist, or advisor. 

This is perhaps the most important and first step when you’re embarking on the process of making amends. It’s vital to consult with a trusted friend or professional before undertaking this step, as he or she can offer guidance, clarity, and a sounding board for ideas.

Take an honest inventory. 

Revisit step 8 and decide how you need to make amends and to whom. There are many ways to make amends including verbal or written apologies, monetary compensation, or simply making peace with the person in your mind. 

Avoid making amends to someone else just to make yourself feel better. 

There are ways of making amends that help us come to peace with a situation on our own. We don’t always need the other person’s ear, especially when it would harm them to do so. Understand the reasons you’re making amends and be honest.

Try not to get too attached to responses from others.

This is your recovery, and if someone is not willing to accept your amends, try not to take it personally. Simply move on and understand you’re doing the best you can. Make peace with the person in your mind and don’t force him or her to accept your apology or gesture. 


Tree House Recovery of Portland, Oregon uses cutting-edge techniques in individualized programs to help men achieve freedom from addiction. Taking a holistic, sustainable approach to the inner and outer effects of addiction ensures you or your loved one will emerge with the confidence and skills to manage your addiction independently. No one is beyond help- our Admissions Counselors are available 24/7 at (503) 850-2474