The road to recovery is not just a journey for addicts. Loved ones suffer along with the addicts – especially when addicts try to manipulate them. A lot of the time, family and friends do not understand how their own traits contribute to their loved one’s addiction. Usually the family and friends become emotionally involved. This is what gives addiction manipulative powers.
Five Ways to Stop Addict Manipulation
#1. Use Boundaries
Social, physical, and emotional boundaries need to be set in order to keep an addict in check. Although it may be hard at first, it will be worth it in the end. Setting these boundaries loosens emotional entanglement. Without practical boundaries, you feed into the addict’s wants and requests.
When an addict tries to manipulate loved ones, they cannot even recognize it or see it. Boundaries are the key to doing this. That way, you can step back and see the true situation.
#2. Take Care of Yourself
Self-care is part of the boundaries you need to set. It will help take the stress off you and allow you to take your mind off your loved one’s addiction. Take up activities that you enjoy – allowing you to remove yourself from focusing on just your addictive loved one. You may think you are helping your addicted loved one, but you’re actually enabling them. Take care of yourself and try not to encourage the situation.
#3. Encourage Tough Love
This is very difficult, but it needs to be done. Sometimes “tough love” may be the only option. In a lot of cases, addicts seek treatment when people are no longer willing to support their addictive lifestyles. By talking about consequences, you are not hurting your addictive loved one, you are helping them. If they seek help because of you, you possibly will save their lives.
Do not become the rescuer for your loved ones addiction. Only they can choose to make the change. You should also discuss this with them to introduce the idea that change needs to happen if they want to be free of their addictions.
#4. Be Confident
Without confidence, you will be taken advantage of. A smile can go a long way – showing that you ARE confident in yourself and will not give in to your addicted loved one’s manipulation. Another benefit of confidence is that positivity is contagious. Positivity can encourage change.
#5. Find Support
You are not flying solo in this fight. A lot of the time, the associated shame and guilt is so overbearing that it makes loved ones hesitant to seek help. But again, this will not help the addict, this will only encourage the addict. What will help is to look in to support groups to talk with others fighting a similar battle against manipulation of addiction.
Listening is an important part of confronting a loved one about his or her drug or alcohol abuse. You may feel alone and stranded in your world of loving an addict, but you are not alone. Listen to them, but set boundaries, take care of yourself, encourage tough love, be confident, and find support.
If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.