Dealing with Conflict in Recovery
Learning to overcome interpersonal conflict is an important skill for addiction treatment for various reasons. For starters, most people’s biggest cause of stress is interpersonal conflict, whether it’s your employer criticizing your job, your girlfriend accusing you of cheating, or any of the countless other misunderstandings that make everyone involved uncomfortable. Because stress is the most common cause of cravings, everything you can do to lessen stress from interpersonal interaction will almost certainly reduce your desires.
Second, social connection is a critical component of a successful rehabilitation. When you’re attempting to stay clean, it helps to have sober friends and family members on your side. Addiction, on the other hand, may be devastating to relationships. Building a healthy support network necessitates knowing how to handle problems and rebuild trust.
However, constructive dispute resolution isn’t always easy, so here are some pointers.
Relax and take it easy.
One of the reasons it’s difficult to handle disagreement constructively is because your emotions get in the way.
It’s easy to become enraged or defensive, but when you do, you’re more concerned with being right than with solving the situation.
Allow yourself some time to cool off before approaching the issue.
Take some slow, deep breaths with a long exhale if you need to calm down immediately.
This will assist you in relaxing and thinking more clearly.
Describe the issue as you perceive it.
When you’re ready to calmly discuss the issue, say it as plainly as possible and have a rough notion of what you want to happen.
Be as realistic as possible about the consequence. You may feel compelled to seek vengeance or to give the other person a piece of your mind, but if you think about it, you’ll realize that none of these actions are particularly beneficial. Instead, visualize a result that you’ll be happy with. State the problem as concisely as possible while speaking with the other individual. You’ll probably find that you differ on some of the conflict’s core premises, which leads to the next point.
Pay attention to what the other person is saying.
When two individuals dispute over anything, they frequently interpret the issue differently and may even disagree on the facts. Because neither party is prepared to listen to the other, these basic disagreements rarely come to light. Listen carefully and try to comprehend the other person’s point of view to unravel the knot. You might discover that the debate vanishes if you clear up some basic misunderstandings.
Keep your debate focused on the issue at hand.
Finally, be concentrated when presenting a problem. That is to say, don’t bring up the person’s prior behavior and avoid making personal attacks. Keep your attention on the facts at hand, your interpretations, and potential solutions. Personal attacks and rehashing past issues will only exacerbate the situation.