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The art of saying No part 1.

There is so much to the word NO that is hard to deliver and to receive. How many bad ideas could have been prevented by such a small word? How many poor choices? How many relapses?

Often the challenge is internal, a fight with yourself, your impulses, your cravings. We will cover that in subsequent articles.

What about that pressure that comes from outside? From those friends or “friends” or family, or whoever?

There are the obvious “No” arenas And then of course there are the more “grey” areas like favors that could lead to trouble, or co-dependent needs that if fulfilled will only feed the trouble. Ever been pressured to carry a burden that you know will also pull you down..but you are guilted into it?

Knowing that “NO” is an obvious first line of defense (remember the “Just say No” campaigns?) here are some other, more “colorful” ways to avoid heartache.

The gabberilogist:

No interest? No problem. Unload. There is nothing people like less then having their own needs and being forced to listen to yours. Instead of responding to the request, go off tangent. Tell them about your day, your feelings, the latest gossip, your favorite TV show (or least favorite..and why) and make sure they realize that to get what they want will require more of a commitment then it’s worth. If they try and interrupt, tell them to stop. You can also add In your personal concerns about yourself, life’s pressures, and how full your plate currently is. End with “thanks for listening, I’m so glad you get me”.

The procrastinator:

When people want things they tend to want them now. The thing you don’t want to hear is “not now”. This intervention is effective but only temporarily and can often lead to more frustration then it’s worth.

The philosopher:

If phase 1 doesn’t phase them, it’s time to raise the bar. The philosopher takes the time to make it all about them. “Why would you want to push me to do something that would hurt me?”. “Why are you asking ME and not ____?”. “Why do you feel you can ask me these things?”. “Don’t you care about my wellbeing?”. “You should really take a closer look inside”. Your goal is to shed light on why they should not be asking you in the first place. Perhaps to elicit guilt if you can.

The savior:

If there is no guilt, then there will certainly be avoidance when the savior arrives. Think “you know asking me is a bad idea .. but let me help YOU get back on track”. Offer them referrals for whatever it is they might need. “Let me take YOU to a meeting”. “Here is a number for a sponsor”. “I just printed you out this list of: meetings, therapists, handyman, articles, etc etc.”. The last thing they want is to face their own issues or do things themselves. Expect them to walk off like yuh just passed gas.

For more information and to get the help you need now, contact The Detox Center of Los Angeles for a free assessment of your symptoms as well as your insurance benefits and coverage. Give us a call today, 888-346-4350


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Effective addiction treatment programs are tailored to each individual. Because of this, it will be a different experience for everyone. However, it generally involves a combination of detoxification, group and individual therapy, educational presentations, and aftercare planning in order to ensure long-term recovery. Upon arrival at The Detox Center of L.A., you can expect our professionally trained staff to create an individualized treatment plan based on your needs and treatment goals.