Why Won't My Loved One Just Listen?

If you have never experienced living with addiction, you might find it incredibly frustrating to try to communicate with someone who is currently living with addiction. It’s not something that you can learn without some knowledge and awareness though. If you’re someone who’s been through addiction before, then you probably have a better understanding about why it is so hard to get communication to really sink in or be helpful.

The best thing you can do is to learn and understand that, there really are recipes for better communication, for communicating with a loved one to achieve desired results. Sounds a little scientific, but that’s because it is. Another key part of successful communication with your loved one is to make sure that if you have been someone who’s enabled your loved one in the past, that you aren’t currently doing it now.

There are some things that you must accept and understand too to help make you a better communicator in whatever relationship you have with this person. You see, there’s a good chance that they are going to lie to you, they may get angry at you, they may even whole-heartedly make promises to you that they just “can’t” keep.

Don’t take offense to this, it’s probably not done with any kind of malice in mind. You should always be kind to someone with an addiction. Instead of losing your temper, feeling like you just want to give up, or getting frustrated and saying things out of anger, try to show how much you care about this person through your words and your affect.

Show compassion, if you were going through something incredibly difficult for you, you would not want to face stigma, be criticized, told what a disappointment you are, or be belittled by anyone – especially someone you love, right? You don’t have to accept their behavior, but you don’t have to harm them in your attempts to communicate either.

There are a million reasons why someone with an addiction won’t “just listen to you.” So, give them plenty of reasons to hear you and start listening.

Hartney, E. “Communicating with Someone Who Has an Addiction”. Very Well Mind. (website). 2018

  • 4 Commentsby Likes|Date
  • I really needed to read that post. I try to be kind and understanding. I try to be compassionate. But there are times I completely lose my cool and it takes alot of restraint not to rip my sons face off! Lol @AlwaysAlex , I loved your post. It was something I needed to hear today, especially after my sons doctor made a comment that because of my son having a dual diagnosis there isn't much hope he will ever"get it" for any long period of time. In so many words he was trying to tell me don't expect a miracle.
  • I know what you're saying @AlwaysAlex . I wish I could believe he is just a quack or a plonker. Lol. But he is a psychiatrist who specializes in neurology and addiction. Unfortunately, it is more difficult for a person to maintain sobriety if they have bipolar disorder or a brain injury because if they have a mood change and experience mania they are not always able to think rationally and can relapse much more easily than someone who is struggling, but still has their mind working properly. That is just one example that makes it more difficult. But he said he will do his best for my son. But my son never seems to put any blame on the drugs he uses. He blames everything else for his problems instead. That is what I mean when I say will he ever"get it". It may ease one symptom temporarily, but causes many others in the meantime and exacerbates everything!
  • @AlwaysAlex i'm in agreement for the miracles you posted! amen!! ;)

    glad you're doing well... and yes, there is always hope... hope has led many people into freedom.... with hard work, some faith and hope, anything is possible.
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