When I started changing the way I interacted with the alcoholic, standing up for myself was difficult. When setting boundaries, one if the things I had to do was tell the problem drinker to stop calling me horrible names. When the alcoholic I was living with got mad they thought they had the right to call me degrading things. I had to learn to tell them in a nice way to stop belittling me.
It only took a few times before they finally got the message. I had to say things like: “please stop calling me that.” Then when they would do it again, I would remind them of my request gently by saying; “I asked you nicely to not call me that name again.” It’s funny, when you begin to get stronger from attending support group meetings, with people who are dealing with active alcoholism, you start remaining a lot calmer when the alcoholic is spouting off. You also start having less expectations of alcoholics.
The key to getting the alcoholic to stop calling us names is consistency. Every time that they hurl an insult, we must block it with a gentle reminder for them to quit the name calling. We must learn how to do this without yelling or getting mad. By keeping our composure, we tell them that we would greatly appreciate it if they would stop the name calling.
There are such horrible things that protrude from the mouths of alcoholics and from our own mouths as well. If we find ourselves wanting to blast them by calling them an drunk or drug addict, we must learn to not to call them names as well. If we slip and let a horrible blurb fly from our lips, we should be quick to apologize. They may throw it up in our face, but we must make an amend. This will help us to stay free from guilt related to alcoholism.
Give it a try. Just remember to be as nice as possible while asking them to stop calling you names. Name calling is a horrible thing.