How to Talk to Someone About Their Drinking
According to one study, about 14.5 million people who are twelve or older in the United States have a problem with alcohol abuse.
If you know someone who would fit into that category, you might be wondering how to talk to someone about their drinking.
While this can be a tricky situation, there are a few things you can do to make sure that they are receptive to what you’re saying. Keep reading to find out how to talk to them!
Recognize the Problems
First, you should make sure that you recognize the signs of a drinking problem. Drinking is a part of everyday life for most people, so it can be hard to recognize the signs in some of them.
There’s no set amount that is a warning sign for you that they’re drinking too much. Rather, you should look at how their drinking is affecting their life.
This may include things like they start neglecting their responsibilities. Whether that’s at school, work, or home, they might not be able to function if they’re always drunk or always recovering from a bad hangover.
Sometimes they will also binge drink, and they’re accidentally always drinking more than they thought they would. They may also start lying to cover up the issue.
The relationships in their life may start to fail as well. If they can’t maintain the relationships due to always being drunk, they may even start drinking more just to deal with it.
Some people also get black-out drunk every now and then. However, if they can remember what happened the night before every time they drink, it may be an issue.
Choose a Good Time
Once you’ve identified some of these signs and confirmed that they actually have a problem you need to talk to them about, make sure that you choose a good time to talk to them.
There’s never really a good time to have that conversation, but there is a wrong time. Don’t talk to them about it when they’re drunk, because they likely won’t even remember the conversation. They may not even be sober enough to logically comprehend what you’re saying.
You should try and set a time and date for you guys to sit down and talk about it. Sometimes doing it in the morning is good, especially when they’re not near any of the usual stressors that cause them to drink.
You should have this conversation sooner rather than later. Don’t just wait around for the perfect time to come around because it won’t, and the problem will likely just get worse.
Don’t Accuse Them
You should also make sure that you never accuse them when you’re talking to them. You want to be a support system rather than someone who’s attacking them.
When you bring this up, they may start to feel worried or even guilty. They might start to get defensive, and it can be tempting to argue with them.
When you talk to them, make sure that you never say something like, “You’re drinking too much and ruining our family.” Instead, try neutral statements, like “The family can’t afford to have you spend so much money on alcohol, and we’re worried about you.”
You should also make sure you don’t give them ultimatums when you talk. If you tell them they need to stop drinking or else you’ll leave, that’s not going to make them want to get help for the right reasons.
This strategy usually backfires and makes the other person feel like they need to be defensive and argumentative. They will be on their guard, and it opens the door for an argument rather than a conversation.
Start the first conversation off by just letting them know you have concerns, and then give them some time to cool off and process everything that you told them.
When you’re talking to them, make sure that you’re direct and try and be as clear as possible. Bring in recent examples of their actions, and tell them how they made you feel.
You may even want to point out how their actions are affecting others as well. Try and focus on the most recent incident because this is the one that is likely going to be fresh in their mind.
Don’t list every issue or example because then they will start to feel overwhelmed and may think that you’re ganging up on them. You only need a few good ones to make your point.
Help Them Find a Treatment Center
Lastly, if they are receptive to your conversation, make sure that you help them find a treatment center that can help them. While you might be willing to help them through their addiction, it’s always better to rely on the help of a professional as well.
Make sure that they know that you’re not trying to punish them for their behavior, but rather that you’re doing it from a place of caring.
Learn More About How to Talk to Someone About Their Drinking
These are only a few ways on how to talk to someone about their drinking, but there are many more tips out there to help you.
We know that dealing with alcoholism or abuse can be stressful and overwhelming, especially if it’s happening to someone you love. However, we’re here to help!
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