Appropriate Support and Confrontation


After having many years of support group experience in a leader capacity I have learned a few things about appropriate support and confrontations. Many of the situations I dealt with were life and death and loss of a loved one for many reasons including addictions of all sorts. So even though I'm on the other side of the fence right now, I still have the knowledge to be able to relate this information to this group, so it can be more functional. I can hear a lot of frustration in some of the posts right now... so without having to address each and everyone of these... I thought this might be helpful as we are learning to help others as we help ourselves.

Some simple human nature guidelines that would help everyone.

Anyone who makes an attempt to get help for their addiction or other issues is always taking steps in the right direction. Even if they are baby steps.

YouTube video

No one can dictate the time line that others need to be successful in adapting changes to their lives and making them work. Confronting someone that is not "in that space" is never a good idea...can shut them down completely and back fire. Confronting someone who is ready, and is in agreement is a way to hold them accountable, until they are able to hold themselves accountable. However if they don't buy in to the accountability, all the pants down spankings in the world would not make them open their eyes. In fact it will shut them even tighter.

Lecturing and preaching sounds like blah blah blah especially when in a crisis. Being over helpful is also an addiction... co-dependency, however helping others in crisis is 2 fold, it helps us to reaffirm our correct convictions and beliefs and change faulty ones.

Being positive about another's success, even a small one, encourages them to continue. Being a victim, of ones self or the system is never a supportive space. You can have a whine once in awhile but there needs to be limits to how much we support ourselves or others during these whining binges. Think, plan act is much more effective. Ask appropriate questions. i.e., So... how's that working for you? or... What do you intend to do about that? There is a million ways for us to get to the other side of this addiction. Lots of opinions on what is the best way. It is a personal choice Banter is always good, pushing is not.

and last but not least... we are talking about choices. Everyone here is making choices all the time. Some great choices, some horrible ones. But we all have the right to make those choices and face the natural consequences of those choices. My 2 cents worth - play nice.
Terri.
"Being a victim, of ones self or the system is never a supportive space."

Great post, TJChicko. Are we the victim of gambling? Is gambling a beast? Or are we a victim of ourselves?
Please understand that anything I say here, is from my own quirky logic and how I understand things to be.

It has always been man's nature to gamble and to make "choices". I say "choices" because I do not think we make choices. I think we make 'calculations'. The results of these calculations 'tell' us what to do.

From the early tribal days, when searching for food and water, men would have to think and calculate, "Which way do we go from here... left or right?" If the desert is on the left and the trees on the right, then 'right' is the obvious answer. I am simplifying here, calculations are mostly far more complex than that.

As the calculations get more complex, for example, if there was an oasis in the desert and within reasonably comfortable walking distance. And if the trees in the oasis were taller than the trees to the right, different people of the tribe would make different calculations. Some would calculate that the oasis having taller trees would most likely house more water and if more water, more food. Others would calculate that because there is an abundance of trees to the right then water and animals are more likely to be in that direction. People of the tribe would split and go in different directions, based on their calculations. The choice is made for them depending on how each individual calculations 'dictate'. Nobody is going to go in the direction that their calculations tell them they may starve to death.

So, what are compulsive gamblers victims of? Or are they victims at all? Or should we be looking deeper into our very nature?

If my theory above is correct, and we do not make choices, but make calculations, then compulsive gamblers are doing their calculations wrong. I am sure they have not "chosen" to be compulsive gamblers. If they have, and if they continue to choose that path, then what is it that can help them?

The fact that compulsive gamblers seek to STOP, tells me that it has nothing to do with 'choice' in the sense that we use the word 'choice'. It has to do with something else. I believe that something else may be found in the way they calculate.

Could it be that compulsive gamblers are people who do not TRUST their own calculations, so they toss a coin… (gamble) left or right? Are they peoples who are afraid to BET on themselves? I think there may be some truth here and would like some feedback on this.

Thank you ALL,
Ravisher .
I really believe that we actually are not victims at all, unless we choose to be.

For example. 2 women get raped. One after recovering from her physical injuries and spends some time grieving about the loss... goes on with her life and lives a full and happy life, sex and all. The other woman gets stuck and never recovers. She is terrified of all men and can never have sex again. Why is this?

The first one, even though being a true Victim, overcomes it's power by not "camping" there. She makes a different choice and moves forward.

When all of us started Gambling... I'm sure that none of us could have predicted the outcome...or calculated it to be were we are now. It was fun and exciting and an escape from reality.

Are we a victim of ourselves? The answers is:::: drum rolllllll please:::: If we choose to be. Are we a victim of Gambling? How can we be? It is inanimate and does not have the power to hunt you down to inflict pain and suffering on you. It just sits there and waits for you to make the choice to come to it.

Looking deeper into our very nature is, in my humble opinion, the only way to move on and live free and not be consumed by the victim inside us. Additive people tend to be wounded sensitive people. Some of the wounds are deep and would require a ton self reflection to transcend.

Ravisher... you have some really good points and this is interesting. I'm calculating now. You say, "Nobody is going to go in the direction that their calculations tell them they may starve to death." That isn't a truth.

Being self destructive is at the root of all addiction. The benefit of the additive behavior out ways the consequences. The benefit being, a relief or perceived relief, from the pain that is causing the self destructive thought patterns.

Compulsive Gamblers seek to STOP when the consequences out way the benefit of the pain relief by now causing them even more pain. It's like shooting off your toe because you have a cut on your finger. Then saying... darn, now my foot really hurts, what am I going to do about that?

I can only speak for myself, but I KNOW I have absolute TRUST in my own calculations. I don't toss a coin with my life, and I'm NEVER EVER afraid to bet on myself. I would Choose Myself as a good bet every time.

So as I see it, what we can do to help ourselves and other compulsive gamblers is::::drum rollllll again:::::

Provide a safe, non-threatening place to work through that pain. To present information that highlights the negative consequences of their behavior to help tip the scales. Break down the illusions of the pain relief cycle. Thank you both for making me think through this. I find that I grow in my convictions to remain free of gambling by examining my own thoughts up close and personal.

thanks for listening.

Terri.
Just to remind, the following are only my thoughts.

The example of 2 women rape victims, and their "choices" of how they both react to it is all very well and fine if the two women are 'identical'. But they never are. They are different people, and as such, will react and behave differently after such a trauma. Because of their differences, they cannot make the same "choices".

We are not victims of ourselves, we are victims of our genetic make-up, our individual conditionings and environments. Victims of our nature/nurture. It is the genetic nature/nurture that makes us what we are. This makes some of us strong and brave and some of us not so. This also gives us our 'self-image' and makes us believe what we believe about ourselves. "I am a compulsive gambler. Look, I cannot stop. This is me. This is the way I am….." ad infinitum. We need to take the above into our considerations when making our calculations.

What we must look for is, the 'reason' why some people have a self destructive personality, or become compulsive gamblers. I do not believe they were born this way. It has come about through the nature/nurture process. The next thing is to find a way to eradicate the 'reason'. 'The Way', will be different for everybody, because the reasons are different for everybody... but there will most likely be some common denominators.

I think it a danger to have 'absolute' trust in one's own calculations. And unsafe to choose (calculate) that one's self is the best bet 'every' time. What if one is wrong? Besides, that would be negating all other people's calculations, which would place limits our own calculations.

Just to clear a point here, when I said in my previous post, "Nobody is going to go in the direction that their calculations tell them they may starve to death." I meant, the average person making calculations. Not, somebody with a self destructive personality, who is incapable of making logical rational calculations that are in their best interest.

Ravisher.
"Nobody is going to go in the direction that their calculations tell them they may starve to death." I meant, the average person making calculations. Not, somebody with a self destructive personality, who is incapable of making logical rational calculations that are in their best interest."

So... is that what we are dealing with here? Ravisher... I'm not trying to beat you up here... I'm just saying what I know to be truth for me.

"I think it a danger to have 'absolute' trust in one's own calculations."

Why?

"And unsafe to choose (calculate) that one's self is the best bet 'every' time. What if one is wrong? "

So? What's wrong with being wrong? The consequences of my actions will help me to choose a different path perhaps or not. Being wrong is how we learn.... if we choose to learn from our mistakes or "faulty calculations"

"Besides, that would be negating all other people's calculations, which would place limits our own calculations. "

Not so, it is our own personal experience that rules our lives... as you said Nature/Nurture does affect our perception. My actions may or may not influence your actions and visa versa. So therefore I can allow your calculations to interfere or distract me...by making that choice or not.

Well it is OK if you choose to be a victim of genetics, conditioning or your environment.... I just don't choose that for myself. I stand here and tell you that I made the choice to gamble as a pain reliever. I know I did this of my own free will... no one held a gun to my head to make me do it..... and I can choose not too. I am not a victim. If I chose to play the victim hand.... believe me... It would be a winner. I could roll over and be flattened out by the weight of my life and how "victimized" I could feel and be. I do NOT choose that.

eradicate the "reason" by eradicating the pain. Pain is the common denominator.

Terri.
Terri,

"Ravisher... I'm not trying to beat you up here... I'm just saying what I know to be truth for me." Likewise.

What is true for you, is not necessarily true for me, and what is true for each of us, is not necessarily true for others. This is where 'belief systems' come in and also the 'self-image'.

We all believe different things for different reasons. We all have a unique self-image. And our self-image is different from how other people perceive us to be. That will depend much on how we interact with them, or how we do not interact with them, as the case may be.

For example: When somebody says to me, "I'm not trying to beat you up here." And then goes on to confront everything I say, I have to wonder about the sincerity of the statement. But then, that is the way I perceive you, as being confronting, which may be entirely wrong. It may be that we are on such different wave-lengths, and of such diverse opinions, that we cannot see each other's point of view. This is entirely possible.

You asked, "who's calculations should I trust?" Now that depends, if somebody is in therapy, I would think that the calculations of the Therapist should be trusted before your own. Otherwise, why go to therapy in the first place? If I make calculations about a casino decision, I feel I am quite capable of that. If it were a question of 'banking' I would ask my bank manager. Or a legal question, my lawyer. If a very difficult casino question, I may consult another manager, or director.

You also asked, "So? What's wrong with being wrong?" Sometimes, everything! It could cost you your life! Much better to learn from other people's mistakes than our own.

I do not 'choose' to be a victim of my anything… We are all victims of our nature/nurture/environment. We are all victims of lies, deceits, false information, conditioning and brain-washing etc. ad infinitum…

Another Muslim blew himself up today in Tel Aviv, killing and injuring Israelis. What he did was correct, for himself and his family. The family were rejoicing that the son had gone to Heaven.

People can be LED to believe ANYTHING. In that young man's belief system, and that of his like-minded people, he did a wonderful thing. And what is more… he has as much right to his beliefs as you or I, or anybody else on this planet. He was a victim, just like everybody else in this world. The difference is, that some of us can overcome the victimization. Some of us can realize some of the truth, and become de-victimized.

"eradicate the "reason" by eradicating the pain. Pain is the common denominator."
Perhaps in 'your' case, but not necessarily in everybody's case. I think.

Ravisher.
You have repeatedly stated that you are in this forum to learn about the ends and outs of what is actually going on in the minds of compulsive gamblers. And when they actually tell you, you debate it. hummmm Seems to me that instead of having an agenda to learn, you have something already in your own mind, a perception of how it is suppose to be and now you want an audience to express your views. Which in and of it's self isn't a bad thing... just make your statements, then those who want to go there will, and other won't.

And as I stated at the beginning of this post... confrontation is not a bad thing. I have absolutely no problem with it when it is appropriate.

LISTEN to my words... I'm not trying to beat you up...and I really mean that. You are an intelligent, creative deep thinker. I thought we were having an intelligent, creative deep thinking conversation. An exchange of ideas, a banter. Discovering and uncovering a path maybe less traveled.

When someone "feels" that they cannot trust their own calculations... that is when they may go to the outside world for input. However when it is all said and done they still have to rely on themselves to make the final choice. Gathering information is one thing, I might even trust the information that I receive...but I trust myself most of all.

Very very few people "learn" from others mistakes. The may see a little light, they may wish to or not to experience something that someone else has done/been. However when it is all said and done, that person can not make it a reality until there is some hands on experience. My own thinking tells me that I don't need to put my head in a tigers mouth to know that isn't what I want to do. Not someone else telling me not to.

This brings around some of the very issues that addicts deal with, Control. External control, we are raging against the machine...even if it's subconscious.

Perception is everything. If we see ourselves as victims, it can weaken us to the point of paralysis. Supporting people to believe that they are victims is not helpful, it is harmful. It is not empowering. How can a person put one foot in front of the other to move forward in their life if they are paralyzed?

In Every addicts case pain is the common denominator. They may not realize it at that minute or ever... but it is.
Terri
Now all I can say to you is this: I 'used' to be a compulsive gambler. There was a time I would gamble my whole salary on horse-racing, every Saturday afternoon and go home and have to beg, borrow or steal to pay the rent. Yes, I have stolen to pay my rent. I would scrounge and borrow for the rest of the week to eat. I can now go to the casino or to the races and play up to $500 dollars, or whatever limit I set for myself, and walk away feeling that I took my chances and won or lost. I now gamble about 3-4 times in a year.

I also 'used' to be an alcoholic. There was a time when if I drank just one beer, it was a gambling certainty (excuse the pun) that I would go home absolutely plastered, if indeed, I could get off the floor at all. Not anymore. I can drink a beer, or a few glasses of wine and stop when I want to. In fact, I drink one or two glasses of red wine almost every day for the heart.

My hope is, that what I have to say, will 'encourage' people. To show that it is possible to get to such a stage. Very, very few will get as far as I have, because I spent a very long time and a great deal of efforts in self-help. I am not here just to find an audience. I am here with an offer to help. If I am not helping anybody, or doing damage, then perhaps this is not a place I should be.

Ravisher.
Ravisher,

I cannot say one way or the other whether you are, were or used to be a cg or an alcoholic, only you can make that decision. I believe you should get in more time listening and hearing what others have to say and have gone thru before you talk like this on a support group for compulsive gamblers.

You said, "Very, very few will get as far as I have, because I spent a very long time and a great deal of efforts in self-help." You have also said, you "used" to be a cg and an alcoholic.. who knows, maybe you are the only person in the world who has went the path you have gone, I don't know. But, your kind of sharing can be very dangerous to other compulsive gamblers and who have not yet accepted having this addiction and think they can still gamble..is extremely dangerous and you are giving many compulsive gamblers false hope! I don't think you fully understand what a compulsive gambling addiction is for most of the others who are compulsive gamblers. Again, you said very very few will ever get as far as you have.. either you are very sure of yourself, or ignorant to this disease and what it is capable of doing to the majority of other compulsive gamblers out there.. that's just my perception of what I see here and also thru what I have learned about compulsive gambling addiction and how it affects the majority who have it.. I would think you would want to listen more before suggesting we can be cured and gamble occasionally. But again, you are more advanced than the average compulsive gambler.. as you say.. just be extremely careful what you put out here for others to read.. it could just make someone think they can gamble now and then.. and that is not the truth.

I cannot say enough about being very careful what you suggest or offer as support to those who have suffered so much loss and pain and are on the edge of committing suicide, cause there are many out there that are.. its a very sensitive and delicate disease.. be extremely careful for others sake..I'm very serious.. I'm glad you found yourself.. many never do. You are the first that I have ever met that was cured from gambling compulsively.. you are one of a kind, if you were a cg that is.. I have to stop this.. It is really disturbing me to the point that I may say something that I will regret.. lilaud
My husband was a hard core drug addict, an alcoholic, SAME KIND AS YOU, and now a CG. He is just like you Ravisher. Once he decided to change he did. He was sober for over 12 years but now can have just one drink or two and not guzzle down the whole bottle, doesn't even consider it. He however could nerve do his drug of choice even once. That would be it. He would be right back were he was over 20 years ago. He knows this and would never do it. Gambling is not his drug of choice so letting go of it for him is very easy. Trust me though... he is a compulsive gambler. However for him I could see a day when he could casually gamble. Really... he has disengaged.

For me... my drug of choice is gambling today, I have another from before. I cannot do that one even once...or this one either as that was all it took for me to get addicted to both in the first place. I could drink until the cows came home and I would NEVER be an alcoholic, because I just don't get much from it. I can really take it or leave it. Same with a lot of other drugs... just doesn't do it for me.

So with that said, I do know that there are others just like you. Not everything you say is wrong at all. I think if a person is having PAIN from poor self image... then there you go. Changing that persons self image would greatly improve their ability to disengage their demons of addiction. I my case, I have a really balanced since of self. My self image is just fine. I really don't need that to feel better. Mine is fully intact.

I am in PAIN though and I use gambling to help relieve it. I have a unsolvable situation, as far as I can see, and this gives me ongoing grief. If I find a solution to this problem...my pain will go away and I won't feel the need to relieve it else where. Until then, I am working on the grieving process. I am working up the courage to face this awful pain without the pain killer. This is just another little drama in the play of life.

I too do not want to or believe in being in recovery for the rest of my life. I believe that just like my other drug of choice that I can disengage from it and then it will just be something I don't do. I will always remember that this took one trip to the casino for me to go right off the deep end. Just one. Someday I will say I "used" to be a compulsive gambler, but now I just don't gamble. My feeling is that you just haven't found your true drug of choice and I hope you never do.

Ravisher, when I asked you to read the first post, what I meant was the top of this thread. And yes... just one month, however... I have 9 years of hard core experience with others working successfully with addictions, violence, abuse, co-dependence and grief. I am using this knowledge to help myself and hopefully others.

I still have my wobbly non gambler legs on...but they will get stronger with time.
Terri.
Terri and lilaud,

After reading lilaud's post I was beginning to wonder if I was some sort of 'one of a kind'. But Terri's post has hit on something here that is profound. Both have given me some insight.

I want to make it abundantly clear to everybody. As Terri said, regarding her husband and myself. There are SOME forms of addiction that SOME of us can learn to control. But those SOME people cannot control ALL of our addictions.

Terri has called it our 'Drug of Choice' that cannot be controlled. For the sake of argument, it does not matter what we call it. Now what has rung very true for me personally here is; I quit drinking and quit gambling and quit playing machines (something I did not mention, I was once also addicted to machines like Space Invaders etc.) And I can and have stopped smoking. BUT… I know when I stop smoking, just ONE PUFF and I am immediately addicted again. This has given me a great deal for thought, something I never contemplated before. It also ties in with what lilaud said in her post.

This is very interesting, and giving me some ideas that I will now start to work on.

Terri, I would be very interested also, if you could let me know what your 'pain' is? I would very much like to see if I can help you with this, perhaps from a different angle than you have tried or know before.

I thank you both for your posts and feel somewhat more enlightened.

Ravisher.
This is a very interesting thread and I have enjoyed reading everyone's comments. I have been a recovering addict/alcoholic for over 15 years. I have not used drugs or alcohol in any way (other than prescribed pain killers for surgery etc by a physician) for the past 15 years. Today it is a choice for me. In my early years, it was not so much choice but fear that kept me away.

Human beings are very complex creatures. I feel and always have that the addiction is just a symptom of a much deeper issue within ourselves. All human beings are self destructive in some form or fashion. It just depends on the degree and the choice of poison that the person chooses whether it becomes obvious to others around them and a life or death issue.

I also believe that we all do have the answers within ourselves but sometimes we need others to help bring us to the answer. Sometimes we are blocking it for ourselves.

Getting even deeper on the issue....I also feel that everyone has a purpose in this world and each persons purpose is unique. Some are not meant to find the enlightenment here, or maybe they have found their enlightenment but it does not match our own.

My mother died from alcoholism when I was 16. I was angry for quite a while about it and began self destructing after her death. It wasn't until a few years in my own recovery that I felt that she may have had to die in order for me to get to my own enlightenment and help break a cycle of alcoholism that has been in our family for generations. Maybe that was her purpose for life was to show me through her own death that I was destined to walk down a different road. To this day I call her my "guardian angel".

Hope everyone had a good weekend!

crazylady
Hi crazylady,

A few things struck me here as truth, although my reasons for thinking so, differ from yours. But that is neither here or there. It is never a case of 'who' is right, but 'what' is right. And nobody is going to deny that human beings are very complex creatures.

Finding the way, or enlightenment will be different for different sets of people. I say 'sets' of people because, although we are individuals, we tend to be in groups that share certain traits. And I tend to agree, that some may not find the way here in this forum. Having said that it will help them to be here, to discuss, to learn about the different types of addictions and how it affects everybody differently.

I am as guilty as anybody else here, of trying to 'push' what I see as a successful route to finding the way. We do that if we ourselves have found a way out. I do this in case there are some people in the group that can find the way through self-help, or at least the psychology of self-help. As I said before, there is not 'one' way for everybody.

Some 35 years ago, I was hooked on Nobrium, for the management of emotional, psychosomatic disorders. I was "diagnosed" as suffering from acute anxiety. Yet, I felt no sense of nervousness at all. I was prescribed a multitude of drugs, and tried with Librium, Ativan, Valium, and some I cannot remember… The doctors settled for Nobrium as being best for my "condition". Looking back now, I think I was suffering from TB. I say this, because I only just found out in the last year, that I have had TB. I had no idea. Anyway, when I tried to stop the Nobrium, I started to get panic-attacks and had to start taking Nobrium again. This went on for around 15 years. Stop, panic attacks, starting again, ok. I hated taking them as I felt somewhat 'emotionless'. Now here comes the fun part.

I went through a real traumatic experience, my father-in-law had a heart attack right in front of me. I helped the ambulance guys get him to the hospital and came straight home to take two Nobrium, fearing I might have a panic-attack. After 20 minutes, I said to my then wife, "I feel much better now." Then she dropped a bombshell. She said, "I am going to tell you something now. You have been taking powdered milk for the past six months." She had emptied every one of my capsules and filled them up with powdered milk. She said it took her hours, but that she knew I did not really need the drug. I was in shock almost. In disbelief. She told me go check.

That was the last day I ever took a Nobrium or anything like it, and never had a panic attack since.

When I went to tell the great news to my doctor, he was furious with my wife, telling me that nobody should ever interfere with somebody else's prescriptions. And, he started writing on his prescription pad… I asked, "What are you doing?" and he told me he was writing me a new prescription. Well… I went loopy at him, and told him where to shove his prescription in no uncertain terms. I said, "She has done for me, in six months, what you bastards could not do for me in 15 years!" I walked out and never went back.

Now that was pure unadulterated LUCK! Having a wife stupid enough, or brilliant enough, to do something like that. I will forever be grateful to that lady.

I related this story just to show that it is always different for everybody. I must say that was a unique situation. But whatever WORKS is fine!

I got carried away there some :-)

Ravisher.
Very interesting experience! In early recovery I heard a person say "A mind is a terrible thing" playing on the statement "A mind is a terrible thing to waste" Sometimes I wonder if my intelligence is my biggest enemy. I over think just about everything and the mind can truly play with our emotions and our state of well being.

I agree with the group thing as I have flourished with those who have similar experiences and outlooks on life. Maybe the part where we try to push our ideas on others comes from the fear of being alone in our outlook and needing some sort of recognition from our fellow man. The 12 step programs talk about "attraction and not promotion" and I wholeheartedly agree with that concept. I never warmed up to anyone trying to "sell" me anything. If I wanted something I bought it because I wanted it not because someone talked me into it.

I work in the field of addiction and recovery and speak to people every day about their problems, life issues and battles with addiction. I also train people in my field to do their job. One of the things I tell people that I train is that it is important to listen to what people talk about being important to them. That when we try and push our priorities on them we have lost both their interest and trust. What matters to me may not be anything similar to what matters to the person sitting in my office.

Today a gift of my own recovery is not needing someone to agree with my way of thinking or my point of view. It is OK to have different perspectives and different outlooks on life, that is what makes it so interesting. There truly is no right or wrong feelings or thoughts, they just are. When I meet someone new I look for similarities, and common ground.

Those that feel the need to "push" their way on others...i.e., and a fine example would be organized religion are living in fear.....and having a specific set of rules, regulations and defined living is a way to maintain control and feel comfortable within themselves.

As an example, I have a good friend who when we first started becoming friends, would lecture me if I cussed, become upset beyond belief if I said "Jesus Christ" or "God Damn" Did not smoke, drink, and went to church 2x a week (I am in the bible belt) Almost two years ago her husband passed away suddenly and he was only 39 years old. I saw my friend go through a lot as her world fell apart and she tried to pick up the pieces of her shattered dreams.

She is very different today, in many ways much more spiritual. She continually spoke to me early on about being "bad" because she had stopped going to church, started smoking again and drinking. I kept telling her that I thought that she was doing the best she could with the given circumstances and to stop being so hard on herself.

We journey through life and depending on our trials and circumstances, our ability to cope and our willingness to be flexible and not rigid determines whether we learn and grow or wither and die.

OK I have rambled on way too long.....

crazylady
Taken from my journal

Sometimes I get myself into situations where I feel "not right." I can't put it any other way. It feels as if I've done something wrong, something socially unacceptable, not necessary immoral or illegal. This something could be pointing out people's mistakes or speaking my mind. I wonder if this is a type of aggressive behavior. The way feel about it is that if I care for someone it's my responsibility to let them know how they can improve. I guess that's the answer. TELL PEOPLE HOW THEY CAN IMPROVE INSTEAD OF POINTING OUT THEIR MISTAKES. The thought just came to me.

If I see or know someone is doing something destructive and I don't take the time to let them know, it means I don't care. I do care about people because I do care about myself. Sometimes people take this to mean that I'm arrogant or "know it all." The thing is I've gone through what they're going through and a little advice might help them. I know friends who do massive amounts of drugs and I would feel guilty if I didn't let them know it was the wrong thing to do. Maybe I could keep telling them it's the wrong thing to do but I can do it in a much nicer way, buffer my words with care and compassion. Use encouragement instead of straight logic.

But from what I've read about addicts, it's better to be direct than beat around the bush. Or should I just stay out of people's business, like I have been doing. This has served me well. It's been hard enough to change myself, how can I expect to change other people?

On an unrelated thought, "I can forgive anyone for anything because I can forgive myself."

Honesty.
Hi Honesty,

Are you asking for input on you....or just making a generalized statement?

For me, I make a point to ask questions and let people talk about how they feel and their concerns rather than point out what is most likely obvious. When people come to my office, they already feel bad about themselves, they know they have screwed up and my job is to help them find a new direction to go down. I need to listen to what is important to them, not me. The biggest mistake for me that I see in advice/counseling type situations is that people tend to push their own value system. If this is the same value system as the other person, then it is fine, if it is not, usually the person shuts down, becomes defensive or starts to attack.

I try to treat people the way I would like to be treated. I never responded positively to someone telling me anything, actually it usually made me very rebellious. Today, after years of work, I am not nearly as defensive and thin skinned as I was 15 years ago - I still do not like to be told what to do.

This was a topic of discussion on another chat board that I go to. There were some people that were telling others what they were doing wrong and how their recovery was going to fail because of it. It got a lot of people upset.....what works for some may not work for others is what I was told and believe to this day.

So none of this is directed at you Honesty, because I am not sure you were asking for a direct response or just throwing out a concept. My answer speaks in a broad and generalized meaning to the topic
I was asking for input and making a generalized statement. If that's possible.

I think I'm trying to push my value system onto people around me. You are right, though. If someone tells me something, I tend to get rebellious, too. But if they ask questions and make suggestions I'm more receptive to what they have to say.

I will have to change my approach.

Thank-you for your input.
Honesty,

I can say with out a doubt that your post are always inspiring to me. I read them all and get something from them. I do not feel that they are preachy or out of integrity. Please continue to put forth this wonderful energy. It is sorely needed. For me... it is right on and I thank you.

Terri
Hi Honesty,

I think one of the hardest things to do is to have the ability to get on somebody else's wave-length. To really understand where they are coming from one must be able to 'think as they think'. To do that, one must first know themselves inside out and backwards. As the good man Jesus said, "Know thy self and to thine own self be true." Given that, you will know that you are capable of every good and every evil that any man or woman has done since time immemorial. In the right place and in the right circumstances we are all capable of saint-hood or genocide. Only when we understand that principal, are we capable of seeing ourselves in the other person's shoes.

Some people will appreciate you pointing out their mistakes, but many will not. It is not that your behaviour is aggressive... but it can be 'taken' as aggressive by the receiver. There is no 'right way' for everybody... and no wrong way for everybody either. Each person is an 'individual' and must be treated as such.

Some people will respond to logic, others will not. Some will respond to chastisement, others will not. Some will respond to encouragement, others will not. It is a case of, pleasing some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but not all of the people all of the time.

Your last statement was very profound, "I can forgive anyone for anything because I can forgive myself."

Forgiveness is a powerful tool and should be used mainly on one's-self. Guilt is a heavy burden to carry. If you believe in God you know he will forgive you. If you do not believe, then you are at liberty to forgive yourself. We ALL make mistakes. If there is no forgiveness the mistakes will mount until the guilt is too heavy to handle.

I've kind of rambled here... must be the wine.

Rav