Addiction is a problem that affects millions of people worldwide, and many of those people are not the ones using substances. Often the loved ones of those who have substance use disorder (SUD) are deeply troubled by what they see and experience.
Although you may want to immediately plead with your loved ones to stop and tell them how much it hurts you, it is important to be careful about how you approach the situation. Even if you are coming from a genuine place of love, you may do more harm than good if you are too hasty. It is crucial to learn conversational strategies and to proceed with caution when confronting a loved one about their addiction. Success can never be guaranteed; however, you can increase your chances of helping those you love to find a better path in life.
Do Not Try to ‘Win’
Dr. Alok Kanojia is a psychiatrist who posts helpful videos online for a variety of topics. In one particular video, he talks about convincing someone of something they do not want to do. One of the main points he makes in this discussion is that proving someone else wrong is an inefficient way to convince them that you are correct.
If you go into a conversation with the mentality that you are right and the other person is wrong, things will likely not go well. Even if you know that you are correct, trying to “win” may make the person defensive. Instead of feeling like someone is trying to give them loving guidance, they may feel under attack.
Rather than going into a conversation thinking about how to win as if it is some sort of battle, go in trying to learn their perspective. If you are genuinely trying to help someone, hearing what they have to say and how they feel is essential. Without these thoughts and feelings, you are lost as to why they behave the way they do.
On top of this, it is well known that mental health goes hand in hand with addiction. Treating a person’s mental health is a vital component to helping them towards recovery from addiction. Listening to someone’s perspective not only can help you find the right help for them, but it may also help them get on board with it too.
At the end of the day, to receive proper treatment, someone must want that help. Even if defeating them in an argument convinces them they are wrong, it will not make them feel better about themselves. Sometimes the truth hurts, although if you make someone think that their feelings are invalid, they may become demotivated.
Just because you take someone’s emotions seriously and listen to them does not mean they are correct. It also does not mean that their behavior is acceptable. However, it does mean that you care about how they feel, which can make a world of difference.
Be Supportive in a Healthy Manner
Listening to someone properly and convincing them to seek help is an important step, and it is usually the first step in a journey. In the same way that learning new tools or methods can help with the first stage of assisting someone get support, some tools also help at the other stages of recovery.
For example, one of these tools is family therapy. Family therapy is so valuable because it serves to help someone with SUD while simultaneously educating their family on how to support them best. This education can include setting boundaries, talking about experiences, and sharing previously hidden emotions. Therapy may be able to rebuild bonds that are so often damaged by addiction in various ways.
Education can also include reducing harmful behaviors that prevent someone from succeeding in recovery, including SUD patients and their family members or close friends. Destructive behavior can consist of enabling, judgment, or lashing out because of built-up resentment.
It is important to note that above all things, love and trust are the foundation of any relationship. Challenging situations like addiction often erode this foundation. However, if love and trust are the motivation behind your actions, that foundation can be rebuilt.
Seeking outside help, such as therapy, is a great way to achieve this because it includes an unbiased professional who can shed light on the situation. Often if you are personally experiencing something, you can miss out on essential details. If you would like to learn more about helping someone with addiction, you can do so here.
Convincing a loved one to seek help can be a very challenging process. When successful, however, it may make the difference between someone continuing on their path of addiction and seeking life-changing treatment. When you are going through this complex process, it is essential to keep a couple of things in mind. Self-care is just as important as helping others, so do not push yourself beyond your limits. Also, this is not a journey that you have to endure alone. Thankfully there are treatment centers out there willing to help you and your loved one fight this terrible disease. If you are looking for a trusted treatment center, Everlast Recovery Centers is ready to help. At our comfortable facilities based in southern California, we offer high-quality care tailored to each client. This includes various therapies, such as family therapy, alongside our treatment plans. Call us at (866) 338-6925 today to learn more about our process and mission.