Alcoholic Traits: Recognize Them in Others
When you suspect that someone in your family has an addiction, what is your first thought? It is likely that you are upset, scared, sad and worried. You may have a combination of emotions that take you over. Knowing a family member with an addiction can seem so difficult because you have no control. You can’t force them into treatment and you can’t force them to listen to you. However, if you can recognize the alcoholic traits in them, you may be able to find ways to get through to them. The family roles in addiction allow you to take your part in guiding them in the right path of treatment.
If you plan to talk to your family member about their addiction, you must understand they are an individual. If you call them an alcohol and group them with addicts, they are likely to back away from you and disconnect. You must acknowledge their individuality and their life, not just their addiction. The family roles in addiction are different for them so try to remember that when you go to talk to them.
Fight or Flight Response
Everyone in this world has the fight or flight response to some point or another. The family roles in addiction may show that you have a different extent of this response than the addict in your family does. Keep this in mind as you decide how you are going to approach them to talk to them about their addiction.
Avoiding the Truth or Lying
After someone has been an alcoholic for some time, they may start avoiding the truth or lying. This actually has to do with the way their brain is affected by alcohol. Do not confront them and call them a liar or they will avoid you all together. If you want to help them, let them know you understand why they may feel the need to lie (to protect their lifestyle) but you want to help them make changes.
You may not think that the addict in your family is isolating because they seem so social. However, just because they have a social life does not mean they are connecting with those people. Think about the family roles in addiction as you talk to your family member about their disconnection from you. Let them know you care about them and want the best for them.
Arguing and Fighting
Some alcoholics will begin arguing or fighting with anyone who gets in the way when they want to drink. If someone says they are an alcoholic, they may not talk to that person at all. When someone brings up their drinking, they may become defensive. The family roles in addiction may cause them to feel as if they have to stand up for themselves. Think about this when you begin your conversation with them about their addiction.
These are some of the alcoholic traits to keep in mind. If you recognize them in your family member, be sure to keep in mind the family roles in addiction as you plan to discuss their addiction. These alcoholic traits don’t make them a bad person, they just need help and treatment.