Advice for Dealing with Alcoholics and Addicts That Won’t Listen

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I talked to one of our family coaches the other day about how hard it is to be patient with an addict.

He said to me, “It’s because you can’t control them”.
Now THAT’s hard to hear.

Of course he’s right!

When dealing with alcoholics and addicts it seems like they have all the control.

So why did I feel this way?

It had to do with my expectations. You and I both know that what we want and what an addict wants is completely different.

You’re Only In Control of Your Own Decisions

It’s not easy to get someone to make better choices, especially when their mind is clouded with alcohol or drugs.

On the plus side, No matter what the other person decides to do or not do…

YOU are in complete control of yourself.

If you get impatient or frustrated when dealing with an addict, remember who makes the final decisions.

The Addict does.

You choose for you and the addict chooses for himself. It sounds so simple yet it’s really difficult to accept.

Try to sort out what you want and if you know you’re headed into another argument…

Walk away and cool down.

It’s more valuable to decide what your options are and what your bottom line is when you’re calm enough to think.

Here are a few choices you CAN make

When it feels like you’re at the end of your rope with nowhere else to turn, try some of these techniques:

  • walk away and don’t even enter an argument
  • refuse to accept blame for your addict’s choices
  • release yourself from the guilt of your decisions
  • don’t cover up or make excuses for your addict
  • stop doing for them what they can do for themselves

Uncomfortable territory?


Some are harder to do than others, but it’s time to put your foot down and stand up for yourself.

When you’re dealing with alcoholics and addicts it’s these kinds of choices that’ll lead them into recovery.

Don’t worry, it gets easier over time. You’ll actually get good at it.

You’ll feel liberated and recognize you can become more patient as you sort out your own options.

Remember… you can’t control an addict. You can only control yourself. Start today by making better choices and tomorrow you’ll be glad you did.

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