Communication is one of the most significant barriers to addiction recovery since many addicts lack the necessary interpersonal and problem-solving skills. Addicts need to improve their communication skills in individual and group therapy if they want to make progress.
An addict may have avoided direct communication with others for a long time because it required being honest and open in ways they were unprepared to face. They may struggle to effectively connect with others due to problems including low self-esteem, a habit of lying, feelings of guilt and shame, aggressiveness, or passivity.
Addicts can resolve all of their issues in therapy, which will help communicate and pick up crucial skills that kickstart the process.
Importance of Communication in Recovery
For people in recovery, fixing relationships with people who were hurt by their substance use disorder (SUD) takes time. To rebuild trust with people you care about, you must always do what you say and say what you do.
Maintaining high-quality interpersonal ties helps the rehabilitation process significantly. Being open and honest is an essential skill that helps people in recovery build stronger relationships with their sober support network. Being honest about how you feel can help reduce the stress of everyday life and lower the chance of relapse.
Tips to Practice Assertive Communication
Words have great power. Body language and tone of voice are influential. All these combined allow you to enhance your communication skills and interact effectively with friends and family during your recovery process. Following are seven helpful ways to practice assertive communication while on the road to successful recovery.
Practice Being Assertive
While addicts may speak overly aggressively or passively, assertiveness is a balanced approach that defines effective communication. Being assertive does not include being rude or pressuring people to behave as you want them to.
It entails being clear, truthful, and refraining from manipulative tactics that could have caused issues in the past. Assertive people can make requests of others, set healthy boundaries, and address their needs.
Know Your Worth and Boundaries
You won’t know what you’re fighting for unless you sit down and ask yourself what is important to you. Before asserting yourself to others, you must be confident in understanding who you are and what you stand for.
Be faithful to your beliefs, feelings, goals, and needs. You may then create a list of boundaries to let others know what is and is not acceptable in your life. Then, you will know precisely what you are communicating to people rather than sounding unclear about what you want, which is a surefire approach to manipulating. Once you have completed these stages, you are prepared to initiate assertive communication.
Learn Social Cues
There is so much more to communication than just words. If you understand the significance of other communication components, such as body language, facial expressions, and tone of voice, you will be better able to comprehend what people are saying when you speak with them appropriately.
Sometimes what we express with our words and what we convey with our body language might be opposites. Nonverbal communication can be far more effective than verbal communication since it can convey genuine emotions and intent. Knowing your body language and tone might also help you communicate more effectively.
Listening and Supporting Others
There is more to learning communication skills than what you say and asserting your wants. Communication includes the give and takes of a conversation or relationship. You must be able to listen to and encourage others as they do the same for you. Active listening skills are vital for effective communication and should be worked on continuously during recovery.
People will not understand what you are trying to communicate until you state it clearly. Avoid dodging the subject and beating around the bush when you try to assert yourself. Tell others what you need and be honest about it; this will help you gain respect and build confidence over time. However, always remember there is a clear difference between being direct and aggressive. Display respect while communicating your boundaries.
Use Conflict Resolution
During addiction treatment, you undoubtedly learned several conflict resolution and problem-solving methods. These are ideal for practicing assertive communication since they keep things cordial and remind you that the other party is not against you. Try to maintain composure during the conversation and remember your purpose.
Practice Active Listening
No effective communicator can succeed without active listening. After explaining your viewpoints and boundaries, let the other person react. Don’t interrupt them while they’re speaking, and make sure to listen to what they’re saying actively.
Doing this will help you agree to disagree if you have opposing viewpoints. Frequently engage in active listening and see how it enhances your communication.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Why is effective communication important in recovery?
In recovery, communicating openly with family members, a spouse, and close friends offers an opportunity for personal development. Effective communication enables you to discuss your emotional condition with others so that they can provide support.
What are the three Ps in recovery?
3 “P’s” for recovery include passion, power, and purpose.
How do you talk to someone at recovery?
The following phrases will help you communicate with your loved ones in recovery in the most meaningful way:
- I love you
- You’re not alone
- Everyone needs help sometimes
- How are you feeling?
- How can I help?
- Let’s hang out
- I’m proud of you
- I know you struggle, but always remember there’s a hope
What role does therapeutic communication have in rehabilitation?
Therapeutic communication consists of three elements, including the mental, physical, and emotional well-being of individuals in recovery. The objective is to make people feel cared for and understood. The more often it occurs, the more the individual openly expresses concerns.
Find Support at The Haven Treatment Center
Learning to communicate effectively may seem like the least of your concerns while you are battling addiction. However, learning to listen and be heard while overcoming the shame-induced silence might save your life.
Our team of mental health professionals and addiction recovery specialists at The Haven detox center can assist you in developing your communication skills. We have broad experience in treating substance use disorders and co-occurring mental health disorders.
For additional information, contact us at (561) 328-8627 today!