It can be hard to reach out to and communicate with someone who is living with an addiction. With extended periods of time spent living and working with someone who has an addiction, some people may have figured out how to communicate with them. But this is often still difficult and confusing.
Addiction can not only create confusion for the individual struggling with it, but also for the people around them. Sometimes, people are shocked at finding out a loved one has an addiction and can find it challenging to come to terms with it. This makes communication even more difficult and can make it hard to reach out to the individual with an addiction to help them.
Communication with those living with an addiction can be hard, especially if you have been supporting their addiction by allowing or enabling them to continue with their behavior. This is made worse when people with addiction choose to lie or be in denial. However, communicating effectively with them is not impossible. You can make changes in the way you talk and interact with them to show that you still care about them.
Listen as Much as You Talk
To be able to communicate with others, it is important to listen as much as you try to talk to them. For a person with an addiction, they are more likely to open up and share their struggles with you if they realize that you listen to them without interrupting or criticizing them. When you choose to listen instead of only talking, you are making it more comfortable for the person with an addiction to share their troubles. Even though you may not agree with their actions and behavior, you can listen to them and try to understand their situation from their point of view. Addictions happen for a reason, and you can find out about them by reading about it so that you can empathize with the person and help them when needed.
Be Kind to Them
Addiction has long been stigmatized in our society that most people with addiction choose to deny, hide, or lie about it. This is because addiction often results in criticism, insults, and rejection from friends and family when they find out. To communicate and reach out to a person with addiction, you have to show that you care about them through your actions.
Always act with kindness and compassion towards them. This shows the person that you accept them as an individual, even if you may not agree with their behavior. By acting with kindness and compassion, you can start to open up their hearts and reach out to them, helping them reach forgiveness and recovery. Being kind is one of the most important factors in having successful interactions with a person who has an addiction.
Love and Concern
Besides being kind towards them in your actions and behavior, you have to show them that you still love and care for them no matter how bad their addiction is. Even if this is not true, you can show them that you want the best for them and have their interests at heart, even if they do not get help. At the same time, while showing that you still love and care for them, it is also important for you to let the person know your boundaries and limits. You have to communicate to them what you can or cannot put up with.
You also have to follow through with your limits and stand firm on your ground to show them that you mean what you say and are not making empty threats. Therefore, the key is to find a balance between showing that you still love and care for them, while stating your own limits and boundaries and getting them to respect these lines.
Be Consistent and Predictable
When interacting with a person that has an addiction, you need to communicate through your actions as well. You cannot only communicate through words and fall short with your actions. It is important to be consistent with what you say and what you practice. If you think that your partner has a drinking addiction, don’t say that they have a drinking problem and then proceed to share alcohol with them over dinner. Being consistent can help them know what is wanted or expected of them, and helps to prevent any misunderstandings and miscommunication.
Besides being consistent, you also have to be predictable. Most people that have an addiction can be unpredictable with their words and actions. To help them, you can start by setting a good example through being predictable. By being predictable in your words and behavior around them, you can lower the stress that comes with surprises which end up feeding their addiction.
Find Out How and Where to Get Help
As mentioned earlier, addiction is stigmatized and shunned upon in our society. This causes most people with an addiction to feel ashamed about it, and become fearful of being reported to the police or another authority. This can prevent them from seeking appropriate help for their situation. You can help them by offering to find out how they can get help for their situation. You can research on their behalf and share the information on where to get help. Even if the person declines your offer, you can even find help for yourself.
Communicating and interacting with a person that has an addiction can be hard and confusing. This is made worse especially if you live together, or the person is a loved one who you care for and love deeply. When you treat them with kindness and show them that you love and care for them, it is easier to reach out and communicate with them. This can help them get the help and support they need to get onto the path towards recovery and healing. One last tip before we go; be sure to research the best recovery routes and rehab centers that might be suitable for them as well. One type of rehab that we recommend considering is a Beach Rehab as it is relaxing while being effective in curbing addiction problems as well.