After years (and years) of arguing with an alcoholic or addict, our communication interaction is pretty much set in stone in a negative pattern. We simply cannot relate to each other without projecting “tones” of underlying anger and negativity. This negative tone is the fuel for the fire of addiction.
The Alcoholic Whisperer program’s goal is to break this negative cycle by teaching families how to speak only loving, respectful, kind words to an addict. We learn how to stop arguing and defending ourselves. We give the addict what we wish to receive from them. Positivity is water on the fire of addiction.
Communication is best done by text, notes, or emails in the beginning. An addict wants to TALK to you either by phone or especially in person. Addicts are relentless at getting their way! (Just like us : )) They know exactly how to wear you down by using charm, victimhood or intimidation! (Just like us : )). By using a short, sweet, written script with the focus on ourselves, we can stay in control of our interaction and not succumb to our old addictive behaviors of arguing or defending ourselves and ultimately (always) giving in. When we cave to an addict’s demands, we send the message that we are incompetent and weak – which brings yet more disrespect.
To thrive, an addict, like a toddler, needs a calm, confident leader, who is not mowed over by bigger and bigger manipulation tactics. They need someone with enough self respect to “Live and Let Live”. Once I start practicing SELF love and respect, it is much easier to break my own ADDICTION to disrespecting others by trying to manage (control) their lives.
In the Alcoholic/Addict Whisperer program, Betty becomes your secret, undercover addict and teaches you exactly what to say and how to say it with each interaction with your addicted loved one. Based on each situation, she will write a loving, neutral “Script” which you will deliver to your loved one in lieu of a verbal conversation (when possible).
The magic happens when we convey a consistently positive message to our loved one that our focus is now 100% on minding our own business and that we will not be disrespecting THEIR life/choices any longer. They see us suddenly focused on busying ourselves with having a great big, fun and exciting life instead of constantly meddling and advising them how they should run their life!
AND…Instead of constantly disrespecting them by checking up on them or taking over their obligations, we are now finding ways to take care of meeting our own obligations. There is no pressure for the addict to change anything about how they choose to live their life! They will not hear or feel any negativity or pressure to change from us. We are simply doing what they wanted all along – butting out of their business! And that is what WE really want too, right?! 🙂
TIP: Remember, you can’t win with the addiction system. An addict will hate you for “helping” them (feel controlled and criticized) and they will also hate you if you stop “helping” them (blame you for their problems and make you feel guilty for not helping them). It is a vicious, downward spiral unless WE change. Remember, “Help” is another word for Control and “Advice” is another word for Criticism.
Using “Scripts” as a new communication tool, we teach everyone a new way of talking and interacting with each other which is based on mutual dignity, love and respect. No “tones”. Very cool stuff!
If you would like to learn more about our addiction system classes, see the web page “What’s the cost? What’s the Reward?” for more details or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Update: Although Betty is retired, she still enjoys talking to anyone with questions. She also has an e-booklet from her classes, which is available through the following link: