What I’m suggesting may seem hard to grasp, but being kind to the person who is the alcoholic in your life is very important. Why would I say that? There are several reasons, but the main one is that it benefits your emotional well-being tremendously. If you follow my advice, you will fell better about yourself.
I am in no way suggesting that by being kind to the alcoholic in your life that this will help to make them quit drinking.I don’t think there is a way to force an alcoholic to quit drinking.
These suggestions have everything to do with you feeling better in the midst of an extremely difficult situation and nothing to do with the problem drinker quitting.
The way this works is that when we are kind to the person who is drinking alcohol, there’s less opportunity for us to experience feelings of guilt and shame. I like to call it keeping my side of the street clean. The dirty things that get on the avenues of our life have no right to be there when we are acting kindly toward the alcoholics in our lives. The less negative behavior we display the cleaner we feel inside and the happier we become.
Here are a few ways to be kind to an alcoholic:
Always say good-bye when hanging up the phone, no matter how angry you may feel about what they are doing.
If you are relationally close to the problem drinker, then it’s appropriate to reassure them of your love. Even in the midst of difficult situations and poor behavior on their part, tell them that you love them. Learn to love the person, but hate the disease of alcoholism.
If you have a slip and call them a bad name or throw a temper tantrum, tell them that you are sorry that you did that. They may throw it in your face, but do not respond. Just keep your life clear of the clutter of shame by telling them that you made a mistake. You have no control over how they will react to your amened. You only have control over your own behavior.
Do not interrogate them. They will only lie about what they’ve been doing or where they have been. Alcoholics lie a lot. Just accept that fact. You will have more peace and serenity in your life and you will be much kinder to them by doing this.
Keep your expectations low when directed towards the alcoholic in your life. The lessor the expectations the less resentment toward them you will have. They cannot disappoint you if you do not set a demand upon their life, this will help you to have less negative emotions directed toward them.
Stop trying to control the alcoholic’s behaviors and just let them live their lives the way they desire to. You cannot stop them from drinking. You have not succeeded up until now and if you continue with the same behaviors you won’t succeed in the future either.
These are some good keys to being nice to the alcoholic in your life. Remember, the more poorly you treat them the worse you will feel. That’s just the way this thing works. Be nice to them and you will feel better for doing so.