So your friend seems to be struggling. They’re not meeting their responsibilities. They’ve skipped out on events you know they needed to attend, or are getting behind on their bills. Maybe you’ve seen that their impulse control is compromised, maybe their anger has been unchecked lately. But whether they are struggling with alcohol addiction or maybe it is a drug addiction all you know is that you have to talk to them. You want to help them feel safe, loved and supported, and maybe suggest a drug rehab center, or a medical detox center.
Here are some things to keep in mind during that conversation with your friend.
- The first thing you must do is show compassion and empathy. Communicate clearly that you love your friend. If you have any experience of your own, now would be a good time to bring up your own struggles. Maybe that’s why you were able to spot theirs, because you have been on the complicated road to recovery and sober living yourself. But most importantly help them feel safe and make it clear that you are concerned and care about them.
- Make sure you pay attention to your delivery. Someone who is struggling with addiction to drugs or alcohol abuse can have very raw or sensitive emotions. Be sure your voice portrays a message without judgement or condescension. If you are truly concerned for the wellbeing of your friend, be sure to use the tone of your voice to make them feel safe.
- Pay attention to body language as well. Open body language, including an upright but relaxed posture, uncrossed legs, and eye contact, can help your friend feel more open and relaxed during the difficult conversation.
- Most importantly, make sure to let them know that no matter what, you will be there to support them and do anything you can to back them up. The most important thing your friend needs as they seek help is emotional support. They need to know you believe in them and want them to succeed.