I don’t think that alcoholics are consciously aware of how they selfishly manipulate others. I’ve heard so many reformed problem drinkers express remorse for how they acted during the days when they were at their worst. Having been addicted to alcoholic myself and having lived with several addicts, I understand what some of the ways are that substance abusers manipulate others.
Substance abusers will play the blame game in order to get people to feel guilty. Problem drinkers blame others for their problems all of the time. The person being put down will oftentimes do things for the alcoholic in an effort to win their approval. The more the addict points the finger at someone the harder that someone will try to make the substance abuser happy. Most of what you are being blamed for isn’t your fault. So, don’t let them get you down.
Addicts us anger as a manipulative force all of the time. Here again, we get caught in this place where we want to get along with the alcoholic, but no matter how hard we try, they always are upset with us about something. Refuse to argue with them!
Poor little old Jimmy, life has just dealt him a horrible set of circumstances. He can’t pay his rent because someone stole his wallet. He needs to borrow money for groceries. He bounced three checks because his boss hasn’t paid him in two weeks. He needs someone to take him to work because he overslept again. If he walks to work, his boss is going to fire him because he’s been late three times this week already. Stop being an enabler and let the alcoholic suffer the consequences of his/her actions. Don’t let the alcoholic manipulate you through making you feel sorry for them.
Creating A Sense Of Urgency
Can I please have an advance on my paycheck? I’m three months behind on my water bill and they are going to turn it off today. Can you come pick me up right away? I missed the bus because I looked at the wrong time slot. If I don’t get to this job interview on time, I might not get the job. If you say no, the alcoholic may get angry, a manipulative technique. Have you ever heard the saying, “bad planning on your part doesn’t constitute an emergency on my part”. We don’t have to feel guilty when saying no to an alcoholic.
They will bend the truth or just flat out lie in order to manipulate people into doing things for them.
Not Answering The Phone
The only thing I can think of here is I was with an alcoholic once who had left his kids with his mom to baby sit. He was supposed to pick them up at 5 in the afternoon. He decided he wanted to stay at the bar and party for a couple of more hours. So, he turned off his phone. His mom had no idea where he was or what to do with his kids. He knew that she wouldn’t tell him she wouldn’t watch the grand kids again because of what he had done because she loved spending time with them.
There are just countless ways that alcoholics manipulate others. I think the trap we have to be careful not to fall into is continually trying to win the alcoholic’s love and approval. The worse they treat us the harder we try to make them happy. We cannot make them happy so stop trying to. Consider working on making your own life happy instead through letting go of the problem drinker and enjoying your own life.
We also have to make up our minds that we will not allow the problem drinker to make us feel guilty. Don’t be manipulated through guilt. We have to see the truth in situations. Most of the things the alcoholic tries to blame us for have nothing to do with anything we have done wrong.