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How Forceful Do I Want To Be?

Discussion in 'Helping an Addicted Friend' started by Glen, Nov 10, 2014.

  1. Glen

    Glen Member

    When helping a friend, I want to be gentle, but want them to take me seriously as well. I want to be forceful enough that they get the message but don't want to ruin the friendship either. If I'm too gentle, they'll just shrug it off and continue with their habits. Where's the line between mean and helpful?
  2. Rainman

    Rainman Community Champion

    Being forceful won't help at all. In fact it will make things worse. Your friend could retreat and deny they ever use drugs even when it's quite obvious that they are high or something. You can only help someone who is willing to be helped. Someone who has had enough of drugs, realized that they are ruining their lives and are willing to try their hardest to stop using them [the drugs, that is].

    It's best therefore, to be as gentle as you can. There's more power in gentleness than sheer forcefulness.
    MrsJones likes this.
  3. Charli

    Charli Community Champion

    I agree, I think it's a fine line between staying a friend instead of crossing over and becoming his or her parent. I think the best way to go about it is to just be stern and set your own rules, but just don't go overboard and make them feel like you're meddling. Ultimately your relationship with them is still as friends unless you grew up with them from childhood, so the best help you could offer, in my opinion, is to be there for them to talk to. That doesn't mean you shouldn't be able to voice your concerns, but it is important to define within yourself where the line in your relationship lies since every friendship is different and lines tend to be unique to each as well.
  4. shandrum

    shandrum Member

    In my opinion, I feel you can only express your concerns to get help. I think if you approach your friend in a forceful manner, it will put a huge wall up and if will negatively effect your friendship together. Your friend has to be willing to get help for himself. I don't know what hobbies or activities you two may do together, but maybe joining a gym and developing healthy habits together would be a good way to approach this situation. I know several people who have made huge turn arounds in their lives by having the influence of someone else's healthy ways of living. Best of luck to you- with time, you can make a difference.
  5. zaerine

    zaerine Community Champion

    There are friends who will not listen even you will forced them too. It is right that what you can do is to show and tell your concern to a friend. Let him know that you are sincere and really cares through actions as well as through words.
  6. maryannballeras

    maryannballeras Senior Contributor

    I also don't support using force as a way of helping. I know that you only have good intentions and I'm very happy about that, you are indeed a great friend. But remember to just always be considerate of the people that you are helping.
  7. DancingLady

    DancingLady Community Champion

    Being firm is better than forceful. Being firm just means you are serious about what you are saying, that it is really important. Being forceful will make your friend feel like you are taking charge of their life, like you are trying to make them do something whether or not they want to do it. You can be both gentle and firm, but it is difficult. It may help to make an outline in your mind or on paper of the things you want to say in advance so you can consider how you want to present it.
    endoftherainbow likes this.
  8. GenevB

    GenevB Community Champion

    You need to be as serious as it comes, but you should also consider the barrier that what you want might not be what your friend wants and know when to quit in order to not ruin the friendship. My best friend and I got easily into smoking, after a while we decided to quit, I did it pretty easily I'd say, he just didn't wanted, we had multiple talks after a while I realized how bound he is to the cigarettes and stopped trying. There needs to be his will as well as yours, if there isn't any from his part then you don't have any real chance to succeed in your try.
  9. mkCampbell

    mkCampbell Active Contributor

    I've done the forceful route and the buddy route. Not it seems as if the court system may be the route as my friend got another DUI. I've told him to call if he needs a ride. I'll come get him or help with a cab. This may be the best thing to happen as I've about grown tired of reaching out.
  10. caparica007

    caparica007 Active Contributor

    Forcing is no way to help, everything has to run naturally or else the person that we are trying to help might run off. An intervention is another matter of course.
  11. gmckee1985

    gmckee1985 Senior Contributor

    I actually disagree with most of the posters here. You need to be forceful when trying to get a friend to stop using drugs or alcohol. You want to be compassionate, but you also want them to know that their behavior will not be tolerated. If they don't start changing you will cut them off completely. They will get the message.
  12. caparica007

    caparica007 Active Contributor

    I already gave a choice to someone and they have chosen the addiction, so I walked away. That didn't help my gf at the time, she was an addict for quite a few years.
  13. JoshPosh

    JoshPosh Community Champion

    I was raised with tough love. Sometimes that's the only thing that will work on some people. In my life it's either take what I am (mean guy), or your friendship is not worth it. If one of my close friends is doing something I don't like, I will say something brutally honest. If they don't like it or don't listen, then the friendship ends. I want to see them get better, and if they can't handle my final plea, then it's not worth hanging on to.
    MrsJones likes this.
  14. caparica007

    caparica007 Active Contributor

    Honesty is something good Josh, the issue is that sometimes we are totally lost and don't know where we stand, nothing like having a friend like that.
  15. petesede

    petesede Active Contributor

    Depends on their current health and addiction problem. If they have a serious problem and are at risk of ruining or ending their life, then what point is it to be friends with them. Ruin the friendship if it means saving their life.
  16. Davienna

    Davienna Community Champion

    It depends on the individual person, so such questions will never get a direct answer. I believe everyone is different so each situation should be treated differently. You have to know your friend very well to know what would work for him/her, either it be forceful or gentle. You can use other instances in the person's life to guide you as to what would work and what wouldn't. Maybe if you or anyone you know has ever tried to talk him out of a situation that would be a good thing, based on how he/she responded to the treatment they had received at that time.
  17. Adrianna

    Adrianna Community Champion

    Yeah one would think this would work. My friend died from too many prescription drugs. My eyes popped out of my head when I saw the basket of pills. More than 30 bottles probably. I don't know how many doctors. No more friend now. Sometimes I wish I hadn't gotten attached as a friend. I wasn't able to help no matter what was said. Its just common sense. I guess the brain cells lower when someone goes into denial.
  18. No amount of forcefulness or gentleness will accomplish anything. You can not control whether or not your friend chooses recovery or not. It's not like a lightbulb will suddenly go off in their head and they will realize the error of their ways thanks to you. They already know what they are doing is destructive and harmful. Sadly there is really nothing you can do except be supportive.
  19. notodrugs

    notodrugs Community Listener Community Listener

    Hi Glen. I think it depends on the personality of the friend you are helping. There are people who need shaking up before you can make them quit something or do something that will be good for them. There are those who don't have to be forced to heed your advice. However, addiction, especially those who have been addicts for quite long or those who have been in and out, can be quite tricky to handle.

    In counseling, there is this approach, I forgot the term for it, but you somehow get your counselee's response to shape up by letting him/her know s/he's the only one accountable for his/her life. And you won't tolerate any of his/her crap of excuses. In addiction, it is similar to the tough love approach. However, take time to read this article as it can help you help your friend http://www.addictiontoday.org/addictiontoday/2014/03/tough-love-recovery.html.

    Good luck to you!
  20. AFKATafcar

    AFKATafcar Community Champion

    You can't always get results, especially if a person doesn't want to change. You usually need to lean toward a hardline approach with someone rather than a casual, half-hearted effort. People will brush you aside with the latter approach, but they'll be forced to confront the issue if you're a little pushy. However, you need to back off if you're not getting anywhere with someone. It's tough to find the right approach while balancing between being slightly pushy and then being soft about the issue.