It always seems like there’s some sort of conflict happening in families dealing with alcoholism. One of the things I learned a long time ago was to always say goodbye if we had been in a heated discussion with the problem drinker. This may sound silly, but it will do wonders for your personality in mist of a difficult situation. I first learned about doing this through a person who was helping me learn how to cope with the active drug addict in my life.
One day when I was talking to my friend about an argument I had been in with the addict, I told her that I slammed the phone down because I was so angry. My friend then asked me if I had said goodbye before hanging up. I thought for a moment and said: “no.” That was the moment that my life changed forever. She told me that no matter what I should always make it a point to never hang up on any one and always say goodbye in a pleasant way.
At the same time, she told me that whenever the alcoholic in the family was leaving the house that I should always say good bye as well. She also added that it’s a good idea to smile while saying it too.
Somehow this really helped me have a lot more self control and also to actually be nice to the problem drinker in our family more often. On many occasions they would be fuming mad and I would politely tell them goodbye and hang up the phone. This works really well in the midst of a heated conversation that you do not want to continue with. By simply saying; “I’ll talk to you about this another time, goodbye,” this will allow you to end a conversation that is really going no where on a good note. It’s better than just getting mad and hanging up on them. If you apply the same method when you or they are leaving the house it works really well too.
If you think about it for a moment, when we get angry and act out, we are just trying to control an alcoholic. When we realize how powerless we are over an alcoholic, then we will start being more gentle and kind in our responses to their dysfunctional behavior.
So, next time you are having difficulty on the phone or at home communicating with an alcoholic, be sure to say goodbye to the alcoholic before you hang up the phone or leave the house. It’s just a very small act of kindness that can do wonders for your disposition.