4. Communicating Effectively with your Relative and Setting Limits

Barriers to effective communication: Part 2


You can also contribute to communication problems in the following ways:


Minimization

Not wanting to acknowledge the extent or severity of the problem, perhaps because of fear, shame or stigma.

Walking on eggshells

Fearing that what you say might result in an intense emotional reaction, abuse, risky behaviour and/or the person using substances or relapsing.

Resignation and hopelessness

Resulting from previous unsuccessful experiences in communicating with the person.

Belief in mind-reading

Believing the person with a substance use problem should already know how you are thinking and feeling, and how you would like them to behave.

Emotional vulnerability

Being hungry, tired, physically unwell, mentally unwell or stressed.

Need for skills improvement

Needing more skill and practice in how to listen, validate, express emotions, state requests and say no.