Have you had the compulsion to badger the problem drinker in your life? I say; “save your breath.” The problem drinkers are in such a state of denial that your persuasive words will land on deaf ears. As you read on, I’m going to help you understand the defiant side of many addicts.
I would recommended that you reiterate on a regular basis how special they are to you and tell them how much you care about them and love them. This type of behavior toward them will be much more affective than criticizing them or even telling them they need to stop drinking. Cause you know deep down inside that they are just going to ignore your pleas as in times past.
If you do think it necessary to tell them that they are having a drinking problem, gently and lovingly approach them with your opinions. Say what you have to share once and then leave them alone.
When you do this, predetermine in your mind that you will not argue with the alcoholic. If you begin to argue with them, save your breath because they will not be hearing what you have to say anyway. Remember that the problem drinker lives in a world of denial. No matter what you have to say, they will not listen and be assured they will deny everything. It’s common to see a rebellious side in most addicts at least all the way up until they finally hit bottom.
I remember how it happened in my life when I was learning how to live with active alcoholism. before I would approach the addict and say things like; “if you didn’t drink all the time maybe we could talk to each other.” Statements like that are so uncalled for. Those types of comments really only put the alcoholic in a defensive and even more rebellious mode. Next thing you know, they are shooting at you with both barrels and then some!
If at all possible, we should begin to keep a journal of the arguments, situations we find ourselves in and the events that surround interacting with the alcoholic in our lives. By doing this we will begin to see where we are giving into their button pushing and therefore, we will be able to have more self-control around them. There are many things that can be avoided which create additional tension when we are around the alcoholic.
Once we start understanding what those buttons are that the addict is pushing, we can stop reacting to their promptings for a fight. By doing this we will be able to save our breath and will find ourselves fighting a lot less.
When we start arguing with each other, no one is really listing anyway. Especially if the fight is about trying to make the alcoholic quit drinking, then they for sure will not listen.
If and when they finally hit bottom and admit that they are having an alcohol problem, they will listen to what you have to say then.
We must learn how to say things once and leave it at that. If we continue to rehash the same things we just said over and over again, then we are trying to be controlling and manipulative. We will only find ourselves being ignored.
Say what you mean once, but don’t say it mean. This will save you from wasting breath on issues that are really never going to be resolved until the addict/alcoholic decides to quit drinking on a daily basis.
I began to experience a lot less guilt and shame in my life when I learned how to stop pointing my finger at the problem drinker by saying a bunch of useless things. The less we say the better chance we have of not saying something horrible that we will regret later. Remember that alcoholics do not listen when we are pointing the finger at them. They will always respond by pointing ten back at us and sticking to their position of denial.
Let’s work on saying only things that are kind and necessary so that they will know that we really care about them and love them. I’ve experienced a tremendous amount of emotional clutter related to alcoholism through the years. Now that I have learned how to get serenity, I work hard to keep it. Less said can be equal to having a whole lot more peace in my life.
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