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What NOT to say to friends struggling with alcohol

Discussion in 'Helping an Addicted Friend' started by Sophie McGee, Sep 23, 2014.

  1. Gelsemium

    Gelsemium Community Champion

    Maybe he could use extra support in those days after he left rehab? Either cases, it's really hard for us because we have our own lives and we can follow them every second of the day.
  2. iamsaif

    iamsaif Member

    Things you should not say to an alcoholic who is trying to recover

    1. "You're so uptight."
    I may like to be in control, but just because I don't want a beer doesn't mean I can't relax or don't like fun.

    2. "Come on, live a little."
    I am! Alcohol isn't the only way to do so.

    3. "All I want is to see you drunk."
    Sorry to crush your dreams, but that's not happening. And if that's all you want in life, it's time to aspire for more.

    4. "I'm going to get you to drink."
    No, you're not, the same way I'm not going to get you not to drink. People get to make their own decisions, and trying to change mine on alcohol will be a failed endeavour.

    5. "Is it for religious reasons?"
    Whether it is or isn't, I don't think my refusing a beer should prompt an interrogation on my lifestyle.

    6. "How are you doing this right now sober?"
    You're actually asking me how I'm talking to people at a party sober? Really? Surely you have too at some point. I don't know when this became a feat.

    7. "You must think I'm such a mess."
    No, I don't think you are such a mess because you are drinking and I'm not.
  3. tasha

    tasha Community Listener Community Listener

    It is important not to bring up the past, to forgive and forget because you need to know that the person with the addiction has a had problem and in some way was unaware of how much damage was caused or how many people got hurt. Some addicts become this way due to insecurities and people that have made them feel inadequate in some way. Avoid talking about addicts, users, abuse, alcoholics and just keep the conversation light, without showing that you are awkwardly trying to lighten the day.
  4. Gelsemium

    Gelsemium Community Champion

    LOL, good list here, but in fact you cover some important aspects, like don't pressure him and don't invite him to the addiction, sometimes it's also good not even to mention it.
  5. Allen24

    Allen24 Active Contributor

    I'm glad this thread was started. I have learned a lot about how to better communicate with those who might be struggling in my life.
  6. mkCampbell

    mkCampbell Active Contributor

    This is a great thread and really hits to what I've been looking for on this site. How do you say something to a friend, family member, etc with a problem? Somehow it always turns into an argument. Some of the suggestions will pop into my head about what NOT to say in the future.
  7. mkCampbell

    mkCampbell Active Contributor

    This has happened to me - once when I was supposed to meet a friend who was paying me back bail money! He was pretty drunk and I had to drive him home. Of course we got into an argument. I've never been paid back and he's since been in trouble a few times. I'm at the point of do I encourage or go the harsh route.
  8. Lanny

    Lanny Member

    Sometimes teenagers or adults have no one to turn to for help. Joining a support group is an opportunity to meet with people who are going through similar experiences and, by expressing your thoughts and feelings and sharing what you have learned, to feel less alone. It helps you to raise above any situation or struggle and transform you into a stronger person.
  9. geegee

    geegee Active Contributor

    Thank you! I have a friend struggling right now and he often misinterprets what I say. I know I sound pushy and judgy sometimes, so I try to be careful with my words. I have to admit I've been guilty of saying some of these. Good thing our friendship isn't totally ruined because he knows I have good intentions underneath those wrong words. I'll definitely steer clear from these from now on though.
  10. athena02

    athena02 Member

    I think Joe C. covered that topic pretty well. Personally, I think comparisons is what hurts the most. A friend of mine started drinking because he felt he was underachieving. He turned 25 and felt that he didn't have anything to call him own. The fact that his parents kept comparing him to his other siblings after he started drinking (why can't you be more like X) only made things worse.
  11. Gelsemium

    Gelsemium Community Champion

    There are a lot of frustrations that can lead us to abuse on drugs or alcohol, but we should just ignore those comments and just believe we are doing what we can, accept reality and not escape from it.
  12. GenevB

    GenevB Community Champion

    Usually addicted people will negate their addiction until it's too obvious. Just try to not pronounce this directly, try to talk about it like you wouldn't be talking about him, this might help out.
  13. Gelsemium

    Gelsemium Community Champion

    Sometimes they don't even accept it when it obvious. I guess that deep down they know, but at the same time they are just not strong enough to face it.