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Getting called a hypocrite...

Discussion in 'Helping an Addicted Friend' started by geegee, Oct 12, 2014.

  1. geegee

    geegee Active Contributor

    I really want to help a friend deal with his alcohol problem. I really do. I've been pushed away by him several times (not physically, just figuratively) for trying to help. He's had a few sober months, but he always seems to come back. I usually don't take his words personally when he's in a mean mood, but the worst he's ever called me is being a hypocrite for still smoking.

    Maybe it hurts more because it's true... but I think at least I put more effort in quitting and I don't become as destructive to others as he is when he's drunk... not that I'm playing the "my addiction is not as bad as yours" of course (although he does make me feel like that's what I'm doing).

    Anyway, when he brings out the "hypocrite card" that's usually when I feel like giving up on him. Does anyone have any advice for this situation? Or even just have a similar experience?
    Daniel Lucky likes this.
  2. La.oui

    La.oui Member

    Hi, Geegee (not sure if that's how you wanna be called. Go ahead and correct me if it isn't. :D)

    On the issue of being called a hypocrite: Maybe you can turn this around if you offer to "sober up" with him. It would probably make him feel like your intentions are better than he thinks if he sees that you're willing to really go through this with him. Make it a friend-to-friend deal composing of little steps. You cut down your smoking to a reasonable amount if he does the same. Monitor each other, even. Who knows it might work out for both of you this way. :)
  3. geegee

    geegee Active Contributor

    Geegee is fine. :) We've been through the "let's do this together" phase actually. At first, he was okay with it. I allowed him to monitor me as much as I monitored him. It didn't work too well though because he got lazy asking me about my smoking, so when I asked him about his drinking he'd go "I'm not nagging you about your smoking, am I?!".This was a while back though, maybe I could give that another shot. Thanks. :)
  4. TheKid

    TheKid Active Contributor

    Hay Geegee:)

    First I'd like to say that you are a really good friend to try and help your friend, he is very lucky to have you! Now I do not know you or your friend but I had the same problem with one of my friends a few years ago, I tried everything until one day I decided "I'm done" and I invited him to come and have a drink with me. After a few drinks I started acting real drunk and I then became the person he was when he was drunk. Maybe it was just luck or maybe it was the help of God, but once he saw what he looked like when he was drunk he stopped drinking so much! It was a miracle.

    I hope you don't mind me telling you my story, I do not suggest that you try this but maybe you can use it as a last resort, good luck!
  5. maryannballeras

    maryannballeras Senior Contributor

    I haven't experienced anything like this personally yet, but if I were you, I wouldn't give up on him. You can possibly let him know that quitting can't be done overnight but you're already on the process and as a friend, you want him to be gradually off the alcohol as well.
  6. TheKid

    TheKid Active Contributor

    I agree with you there Maryannballeras, quitting the habit won't happen overnight. One has to set a goal to stop and you have to really, really try otherwise it won't happen at all. As his friend it is your job to encourage him and keep him motivated. Constantly remind him of the positive impact quitting will have on his life.
  7. I wouldn't take it to personal, he was probably just upset. I would just continue to stick by his side and offer the most support you possibly can. If you want to take the next step though, you could always quit smoking and you two could "sober up" together and that may actually help him in the long run, but chances are, he was just being defensive and knew that would hurt you and was trying to get you off his back.
  8. La.oui

    La.oui Member

    Maybe another shot is a good idea! But this time be more specific about the rules and the boundaries of it. Say for example, you should clear with each other when are instances when you'd like to not be asked about it. What would help would maybe make a reinforcement schedule and set goals. Reward yourself with something that you really want (not smoking or alcohol though). This can serve as a good motivator. I can help give you an idea on setting up a behavior modification plan. :)
  9. I think you should ask him to help you get better. Tell him how you are addicted to smoking and reach out to him. My friend did this and the person ended up realizing that their addiction was slowly ruining their life. It is quite a different approach but I think you should give it a shot! Best of luck to you and your friend.
  10. geegee

    geegee Active Contributor

    Wow, that's really nice of you to offer! We found a free program before (the first time he was okay with us monitoring each other) that gave us a bunch of hand outs to write on. One of those hand outs made us list what are the triggers of my smoking/his drinking and how we can avoid those, and also list rewards and when to have them. Is that a behavior modification plan? :)
  11. geegee

    geegee Active Contributor

    Haha... how unconventional! Good thing it worked for you. :)

    Thank you. Yes, I'm trying to tell myself it was just him saying whatever would get me to stop "pestering" him so to speak. I gotta admit it still hurt though and while I do plan on trying to help each other out by both of us kicking our addictions, I haven't talked to him yet. I know he knew he said mean things, and knowing him, he'll come around and apologize, which I think we both need. :)
  12. tasha

    tasha Community Listener Community Listener

    People who abuse alcohol and drugs will say really mean things and not have any idea that they are being hurtful. Smoking is in no way like abusing alcohol and that is just an excuse for him not wanting to give it up. Making you feel guilty and bad because you are wanting to help with something he might not think he is able to give up. It is easier for him to call you out but it is not the same thing at all and he does need help. You can offer to quit smoking but he needs to know that his problem is serious. Take a stand, be strong and tell him he needs to get help, perhaps rehab because finding excuses sounds like he is having weak moments and doubt about giving up. Don't let it bother you but I would suggest that you keep your cigarettes until he is out of rehab.
    geegee likes this.
  13. Rainman

    Rainman Community Champion

    You can't preach water and drink wine ;)

    That's the message he's trying to get across. He knows you have issues which you haven't solved so for as long as you smoke and try to get him off drinking, he'll have a strong strong comeback to remind you that you're no better than him.

    The best way to go about this is to first give up smoking. Once you've done that, you can go back to helping your friend overcome his alcohol addiction.
  14. TheKid

    TheKid Active Contributor

    I agree with Rainman as well! First you have to stop smoking and then you can tell him to stop drinking. Maybe if you can show him that you can stop then he will think that "If he can do it, so can I". Good luck.
  15. Daniel Lucky

    Daniel Lucky Active Contributor

    Sometimes when we try to help our friends or loved ones, they will fight against us using harmful words, but that isn't them that is the addiction fighting. I was like that with my parents, I would all the time yell, "I ain't bothering nobody." I would constantly argue and down them just for trying to help me saying lots of harmful things. They never gave up, but stayed behind me and I am grateful for that because it really got me through the longer I came down off the drugs so keep encouraging and stay strong because it helps! Good luck!
    tasha likes this.
  16. La.oui

    La.oui Member

    Oh, that's good to know. In essence, it is. Those are the basic information that we need to build one. :) A behavior mod plan is a bit more complicated though. It's mainly setting realistic goals in a given period of time, kind of like a schedule. We arrange those goals in time frames and then we assign rewards that's also appropriate for a goal. It's good to know what you want to gain when you attain something, right? But it won't work very well if you just pick a reward randomly and notice that it doesn't really match the achievement. The behavior mod tries to eliminate that. :)
  17. geegee

    geegee Active Contributor

    Hmm, you have a point. Not sure I want to put our friendship on hold while I try to quit though. I mean, wouldn't it be nicer if we worked through both our addictions together?

    Ah I see. Thank you for the guidance! Sounds like we have to put in a lot of thought on what those rewards should be and which achievements should get them. We should probably return to the place where we got those handouts. Thank you! :)
  18. La.oui

    La.oui Member

    You're welcome! Don't forget that time plays a big role in this too. Set realistic goals within certain time frames and then assign rewards or punishments if you reach or don't reach that goal. Make sure that the reinforcement you give is actually considered as a reward by the person. For example (and for simplicity's sake) one kid considers sour candy as a reward but another kid hates it. So even if you give kid B the sour candy as a reward, it wouldn't reinforce the behavior of working for the goal. Same goes for punishers if you consider adding that to the list. :)
  19. Peninha

    Peninha Community Champion

    That is why it is so hard to help an addict, sometimes they don't want to be helped and in that case it's pretty impossible to do it because they will just look for excuses on what we are doing instead of looking to their problems.
  20. Charli

    Charli Community Champion

    I think the best way would be to show him how possible it is to give up a bad habit by giving up yours. I think you are approaching this very well since you speak of the situation in a very levelheaded manner, so I trust you will be able to succeed in this one way or another. In my opinion, the only way to go about it is to stop being the hypocrite he sees so he will have nothing to say, and if he still doesn't take it as a good sign then you would at least have bettered your own health in the process.
    MrsJones likes this.