If we do nothing, the alcoholic will probably wind up, at some point in the progression of addiction, in exactly the circumstances we fear.
Scott McMillin, Recovery Systems Institute Principal, discusses the barriers that keep an addict or alcoholic from seeking help. Learning new ways to communicate can allow a caring family member, friend, or professional to motivate them to get the help they need.
It’s a much-repeated observation of psychology, that people feel an urge to act in ways that are consistent with their previous actions.
Alcoholics learn to test the resolve of those around them. That doesn’t mean they’re unaware of the need for change, just that they aren’t certain that other people will be there to support them.
Beginning your statement with ‘yes, but’ means you’re already arguing. And rest assured, the alcoholic is well prepared for argument.
Being clear with a reluctant alcoholic isn’t just a matter of knowing what we want to say. It’s more about knowing exactly what we hope to gain from an interaction, and moving steadily towards that goal.
We want to simplify difficult choice so as to maximize the chance the alcoholic will make the right one.
Eventually, the fantasy bubble gets popped, and the addict realizes they’ve wasted a lot of time when they could have been making progress.