Your communication skills are essential in recovery. The problem is many of us have lost or never learned how to communicate without using messaging or social media correctly. The problem with social media is that it does not show what you hear in the spoken word as far as the tone of voice. You really can’t tell if someone is sarcastic, funny, mad, or normal in a message. The same thing happens when you dull your senses with alcohol or substance abuse. 

What stops effective communication

There are several things that stop effective communication, and those are:

  • Stress
  • Extreme emotions
  • Lack of focus
  • Unreliable body language
  • Pessimistic body expression

How to be an effective communicator

When it comes to communicating with a loved one who is in recovery, you need to be an effective communicator. 

Here are some tips to help you become that effective communicator

  • Be an active listener; this means focus entirely on the speaker; do not interrupt or attempt to redirect the conversation to your concerns. Instead, show interest in what is being said, have an open mind, ask questions or state what I am hearing, and paraphrase what has been said, allowing the speaker to clarify.
  • Pay attention to body language. To do this, you need to watch facial appearances, body movements, and signals, eye contact, stance, timbre of voice, muscle tightness, and breathing.
  • Keep your stress and emotions in check. To deal with stress do some quick stress release exercises, even a small session of meditation before the conversation can help relieve stress and get your emotions under control
  • Assert yourself means articulating your opinions, beliefs, and needs in an approachable and true way, while standing up for yourself and with regard to others without hostility so pay attention to your body language also. Keep from crossing your arms, make eye contact, smile, and be optimistic. 

These tips work for communicating with anyone, even someone in recovery. If they are in or have gone through treatment, they have also learned the basics of effective communication; since they need to explore their feelings and issues that trigger them. That led them to alcohol or substance abuse, to begin with. 

If you are unsure that you are able to do this with the person, you need to try having a friend or family member practice with you. In fact, if you film it, you can then watch it and see what your body language is saying. Ask the person who helps you to cause you to stress once or twice so that you can practice keeping your stress and emotions under control. It just takes practice.  

449 Recovery teaches these skills and others to addicts to help them become better at articulating their feelings, discover their triggers, and how to use those skills to reduce the chances of a relapse. Call us today (855) 435-7449 to learn more about our detox program and therapies we offer to help achieve and maintain recovery.