These are seven things that your addicted loved one will say to convince you they don't have a problem. These are just manipulation tactics, which is why I want you to be able to identify them and know what's happening when you hear them.
Your loved one will likely tell you, "I'm not nearly as bad as all those people at the meetings or the treatment center. I don't even do it every day."
I call this--It's not as bad as you're making it to be a manipulation tactic.
This goes hand in hand with the first one. They will probably give you both at the same time.
"You are just so uptight, I don't know why you worry about this so much. You used to drink with me and be fun. This is a gaslighting manipulation technique.
If you want to know how to deal with manipulation tactics, my manipulation guide will cover different types of manipulation. The manipulation guide will give hints and pointers on how to deal with gaslighting.
"I quit for 30 days last year--what kind of alcoholic can quit for 30 days?" or "I'll prove it to you--I'll quit for two weeks."
They'll point out times when they didn't use it for weeks, months, or maybe even years at a time.
This manipulation tactic is one that the person is very likely not just using on you, but to convince themselves that they don't have an addiction issue. It's common for someone who thinks they might have an addiction issue to try to go for periods without it. One criterion for diagnosing substance use disorder is many failed attempts to control, stop or cut back.
Now that doesn't mean they can't stop for periods, but when they are using, they can't control it. Just because someone's maintained periods of sobriety doesn't mean they don't have a problem.
"Trust me, I learned my lesson. It will never happen to me again." Sometimes the person doesn't have enough insight about exactly why that one thing happened to them.
For example, They may think, "I got that DUI, but the problem isn't that I have an alcohol use disorder, it's that I drove home from the bar drinking." The person overlooks the big picture of the issue.
The next one is, "I need to cut back, I overdo it from time to time. I'm not even doing it every day." I'm guessing it's not the first time they've said this to you.
It's not just an attempt to manipulate you, it's a denial mechanism where the person's trying to convince themselves of it. They're trying not to look at the fact that they need to give it up to get control over it.
It's a combination of deflection and gaslighting, and it sounds like, "why are you always bringing up my past?"
"I can't get better because you're always bringing up every bad thing I ever did." When you're bringing up the bad things from the past, you're trying to get them to acknowledge that this is a big issue causing problems.
This manipulation tactic usually happens after a poor decision or consequence, like getting a DUI, forgetting about a child's ball game, or drinking too much at a family event.
In this example, the person may tell you that the wrong thing only happened because...
This is another one, not just designed to manipulate you but also to manipulate themselves. Anyone can take one bad event that happened because of an addiction and make a reason why that could happen. Honestly, it's convincing because you can think, okay, I could see that. The point isn't to look at one incident, it's the fact that there are a lot of these incidences occurring.
My goal is to make sure you are always five steps ahead of addiction, and I want you to know you're being manipulated when it happens. And more importantly, I want you to know how to respond.
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