Addiction is a destructive behavior that you can’t manipulate. Even though you love the person who has an addiction, manipulation is not the answer. Those who are close to someone who has an addiction may feel consumed by trying to find alternative ways to get them sober. Relationships constructed around addiction often lead to self-destruction, heartbreak, and guilt. You may feel that you want to bring them to safety or you lie to protect them. But addiction has a way of creating a psychological mindset that can destroy both you and your loved one if you attempt to manipulate them into being sober.
Avoid Manipulation However You Can
Manipulation is a tactic that is often used not only by the addict but by those who love them. This behavior is powerful, calculating, and can be destructive to the entire relationship. Confronting someone with an addiction is never a straightforward path. It is a path that needs careful planning and guidance. But when you bring manipulation into the matter, whether you may not see it at first, you are making decisions that are not for the betterment of someone else.
There are usually clues to let you know that manipulation is about to happen, including shifting control and scheming. Manipulation is not an ideal way to address addiction. Addiction does allow individuals to manipulate others to get substances. But you can’t manipulate someone into being sober — an addicted person can see the signs from a mile away and will most likely avoid what you are trying to do immediately.
It is pointless to try to manipulate someone into being sober, but there are alternative methods you can use if you have an addiction concern.
Become An Ally
It can be exhausting to provide continuous care for a family member or close friend who has an addiction. You may feel like everything you do is for nothing or lose any hope that a change will occur.
First, know that you are not alone. There are millions of people and families who are dealing with the same situation. The next step is to recognize that addiction does not discriminate and can happen to anyone who allows themselves to be vulnerable, regardless of their character, background, or circumstances.
One of the best ways to react to a loved one’s addiction is to communicate properly with them. You want to show them signs of encouragement, love, and compassion. You need to understand a person with addiction is simply not themselves anymore. The more you educate yourself about addiction, the better. There are many resources available to family members and friends that can help you through this difficult situation.
After you learn more about addiction and the reality of the situation, you can start setting boundaries and stop trying to fix them. This is often the hardest part of becoming an ally because your intentions are to help your loved one. However, you may be pushing them further down or in the wrong direction without even realizing it.
What Not To Do
Addressing yourself first before addressing the addiction is a key element of the recovery process. If you or someone you love has an addiction, it’s time to stop the following behaviors.
- Do not blame yourself or take the addiction personally.
- Stop trying to control the addiction.
- Do not cover up the addiction or make excuses.
- Do not sit back and accept unacceptable behavior.
- Do not set expectations.
- Do not live in the past.
- Avoid enabling the behavior, like lending money or joining in.
- Do not risk waiting to ask for help.
These are just a few examples of things to avoid. Once you make the transition from manipulator to ally, the recovery process can begin to unfold.
Ways To Be Supportive
There are many ways to show support to the person you love who has a substance use disorder, and some techniques have proven to be successful in most cases. Here are a few ways to become an ally — or stay an ally — of someone who has an addiction.
- Educate yourself on everything related to addiction.
- Practice self-care and healing.
- Accept the situation and know that you can not do this alone.
- Encourage healthy behaviors and lead by example.
- Create your support network and stay connected.
- Consider personal counseling or therapy.
- Stay positive and focus on the future.
- Remember to listen more and talk less.
- Create your boundaries.
- Talk to a recovery specialist.
To get more involved and stay informed on addiction and recovery, try joining a free class at Renaissance Ranch. Our expert staff teaches from personal experience in small-sized groups designed to help people in specific relationships with those suffering. Whether you’re a spouse, family member, parent, or need help yourself, reach out to us to learn more.
Addiction is a complicated topic, and you can’t manipulate someone into being sober. Once you learn about addiction and the recovery process, you will see that the door of opportunity cracks open, and hope will flood in again. When you change your own behaviors with a professional’s guidance, you will see the burden is not yours alone to carry. With the help of a professional who understands and cares about you and your loved one’s well-being, you can get through this. At Renaissance Ranch, we believe in faith and family support. That’s why we offer free online family support classes on addiction that are open to the public, designed to accommodate a wide range of perspectives. We understand how hard it can be to cope when someone you love is suffering from addiction. We are here to guide you every step of the way and help you build a healthier relationship rather than trying to manipulate them into being sober. To learn more about our programs, call Renaissance Ranch today at (801) 308-8898.