How can you stop arguing with a husband, wife, son, coworker, daughter or friend who is an alcoholic? It can seem impossible at times because there is constant turmoil and looming anxiety that surrounds the life of an alcohol addicted person.
This following statement is the solid foundation that needs to be built upon:
“It takes two to argue.”
That old cliché seems simple enough to grasp in the intellect, but try to convince the emotions that it is a simple task to smile in the midst of a tornado of anger. The process of turning the other cheek and walking away is difficult when the normal interaction with the alcoholic friend or family member revolves around arguing and fighting.
The vicious cycle can only be broken by removing yourself from the fighting territory.
What if I told you that the two weapons that alcoholics use are anger and anxiety? Does that bring some light into the darkness? Understanding this truth will help you quit fighting with them.
If they can keep you upset, then the focus becomes on you rather than on them. While you’re storming around fuming with anger, then they can point the finger at your behavior rather than looking at their own. In some dysfunctional way this makes them feel better about themselves. When there’s an argument that breaks out it also gives them permission to escape get drunk.
Ways to Stop Fighting With Someone Who Drinks Alcohol
First, let me just say that you are going to have to be patient and easy on yourself if you fail the test when trying to stop fighting with someone who is an active substance abuser. People who drink alcohol regularly can really get under your skin.
Please do your best to apply the following steps with a loving and gentle attitude towards the person who has the drinking problem in your life. Being kind to an alcoholic may be difficult, but it’s necessary. If it is not possible to detach with love, then detaching with anger is better than arguing with the alcoholic.
1) Never have a serious conversation with them when they are drunk.I quit arguing all together when I began to realize it’s pointless to try and reason things out when they have been nipping the bottle. You wouldn’t try to have a rational conversation with someone who has just come out of major surgery and is under the effects of an anesthetic would you? Someone who drinks every day has alcohol in their blood twenty four/seven. Avoid talking about the serious things in life like house payments, bills and children’s health issues when they are inebriated. Wait until they have sobered up then initiate the conversation.
2) Learn to recognize what they do to try and make you start arguing with them. It may be that they criticize you or call you a degrading name. Perhaps they will disapprove of a particular thing that you did and point out your fault in the matter. Once you begin to tune into their tactics you will be able to quit reacting in negative ways.It will be easier to stop than you think. Just keep trying until you get it right.
3) Keep your mouth shut; if what you have to say is not necessary, kind or true, don’t say anything. This means that you are going to have to keep your composure long enough to think before you respond to something that they have said or just done.
4) When they hurl an insult at you, learn to respond by saying: “I’m sorry you feel that way.” Then say nothing else in defense of your character.
5) Politely tell them that you do not care to discuss the matter now. Once you do this, it is not necessary to repeat yourself again as they continue to try and get a negative reaction from you. Go into another room, close the door and start reading a book or watch TV or something. You can even leave the house and go for a walk or call a friend and go visit. Do whatever it takes to stop arguing with the problem drinker.
There are many other things that I could share with you, but remember the foundational goal is to stop arguing by remembering that it takes two people to have a fight. If you refuse to step into the fighting arena, then there will be no argument. Now, be prepared for your husband, wife, son, daughter or coworker to get even more angry when you refuse to be a part of the habitual lifestyle anymore. The only way to put an end to the dysfunctional cycle is to not participate anymore. You really can quit arguing and totally stop fighting with an alcoholic.
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