I started this article as a reply to a question related to these two articles:

* Tactics Used to Avoid Accountability 1
* Tactics Used to Avoid Accountability 2

There are more tactics coming in the near future.

Here is the Question.

"So when we notice these things in a loved one or friend, what is the best way to approach it?"

That is a great question that probably has a million different answers since even though addicts and alcoholics share a lot of similar behaviors, we are all unique in some ways that will change how you should approach them.

The correct answer has a lot to do with the relationship you have with that person. I mean the type of communication you have. I definitely believe these tactics should be confronted but that is where the variables come in.

For example, if the relationship you have with this person is already very confrontational, and you confront them, yet again, they may not be listening anymore. In that situation it is important for you to let them know you care about them and the reason you are confronting them is because you do care for them. It is important to love the person but not the behaviors and let them know you care about them but do not like their behaviors. In order to get them to hear what you have to say the person has to know you are confronting them because you care.

If your relationship is not so confrontational then you have some room to confront. Here's an illustration to make the point. It's like a bank account... You can't withdraw without having previously deposited. Showing your love in practical ways in addition to telling them is making deposits. Confronting them is making a withdrawal. Just like a bank will not let you take out more than you have put into an account, your "withdrawals" in a relationship cannot be more than your "deposits."

A couple of things to think about: they may never admit they are lying but if they realize you are "on to their tactic" then they will have to work that much harder to get one past you next time. You never win an argument (they just have to refuse to admit you are right).

A tip for more successful confrontation: leave emotions out of it. Let them know you are aware of their tactic, but don't pass the control in the situation to them by becoming emotional about it. The more emotional you become the more likely you are to say something you don't mean to and the easier it is for them to "win" the confrontation. You can’t withdraw what you haven’t deposited.

Remember, addicts and alcoholics are masters of manipulation. Also, when you confront them you let them know you know they are lying and they already knew they were lying but now they know you know they are lying. But, the fact is they may never admit it. They may just keep denying it, they may leave, or they may move on to another tactic. They are able to move to another tactic like a magician shuffling a deck of cards. They might be thinking, "so, you saw through this card trick but you won't see the next one..."

Another illustration, it’s like catching a kid with his hand in the cookie jar and you ask, “are you getting a cookie?” They look at you and say, with their hand still in the cookie jar, “no, I’m not.”

Eventually, when their pain gets to be more than they can take they will desire the change for themselves and that’s when their journey to healthy recovery will begin. Confrontation from loved ones is part of the process. Confronting tactics is important, maybe even necessary, but it is frustrating and often a long process.

There is more to dealing with these tactics but that’s enough for now. I will give some specific ideas for the tactics I write about in future articles.

I would love to hear your thoughts about this—leave a comment and let us all know what you think.



Author's Bio: 

Tim has a masters degree in Mental Health Counseling and is a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor. He has 20 years of experience as a professional working with mental health, addictions, and co-occurring disorders.

Tim states, "I am very passionate about living a balanced, healthy life in recovery since I know the benefits in my life and struggles with additive behaviors."