Communicating with Loved Ones in Recovery

For anyone who has a loved one going through addiction recovery, it can sometimes be hard to find the right thing to say. So, let’s take a look at some tips and suggestions for healthy communication with friends or family members who are going through addiction recovery treatments.

Show Empathy

When dealing with loved ones who are actively going through addiction recovery, the best thing to keep in mind is to be kind and show empathy to the person. This will help foster good and healthy communication between both parties, and establish a mutual respect.

When it comes to addiction, it can be easy to cast judgments on the person and believe that they are fully in control of their thoughts and actions, though this is typically not the case for someone who is in the throes of addiction. So try to see things from their perspective and understand the situation they’re in, and chances are you’ll be able to better communicate with them. 

Listen More Than Speaking

When you’re communicating with a recovering addict you’ll want to make sure you’re an active listener, which will make them feel heard and seen. Try not to correct or interrupt them while they’re talking, even if you don’t agree with what they are saying.

The last thing you want to do is appear to show judgment, so the best course of action is to hear them out for what they have to say and hold off on criticizing them. 

Educate Yourself on Addiction

An important part of good communication with recovering addicts is to educate yourself on addiction so you can better understand their struggle and where they’re coming from. Otherwise, you may have preconceived notions about their condition or make them feel alienated from the conversation.

In general, the more you understand about a topic, the better you’re able to communicate about it. This holds true for addiction, so try to make it a point to learn about the disorder and ask the person questions when you’re unsure about something. 

Set Boundaries

Lastly, setting boundaries is another important aspect when communicating with recovering addicts. So not only do you need to be clear with your verbal communication, but you also need to be clear and consistent in your actions as well.

Make it known what your expectations are for the person and what you’re willing to give them so there is never any confusion. Let them know that they are loved and supported, but that you have your own limits to what you can handle or what you can do for them.

Addiction recovery can be a bumpy road, and it doesn’t always move in a linear direction. So, be supportive of recovering loved ones when you can, and use the above tips and suggestions to make sure your communication with them is healthy and productive for both parties.

Bailey Schramm is a writer in partnership with Faxage secure online faxing service.

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