Triggers can pop up seemingly out of nowhere. If you know you have a loved one that has certain triggers, it’s important to be mindful of that. Having empathy (understanding and sharing other people’s feelings) is a necessity when dealing with a loved one that gets triggered. Many people with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD have certain triggers. However, even people without PTSD still have specific triggers. Many people dealing with Substance Use Disorder have triggers, too. It’s important to keep in mind what could hurt another person. Of course, you cannot avoid every trigger all of the time. We know this. Just take an extra minute or two to think about how your actions can impact those around you.
For those dealing with addictions, certain things are general triggers. The sight and smell of someone using a substance can be enough to make someone in recovery want to use. Treat your loved one with respect and dignity. They don’t want your pity. They just want your respect. If you act with empathy and compassion, your loved one is probably going to appreciate that and open up to you more. So, how can you be mindful of other’s triggers? Here are a few tips:
1. Ask Your Loved One What They Need From You
People who may be struggling may often have trouble speaking up and asking for help. They may feel ashamed or embarrassed to ask certain things of you. They may not want to bother you. Show them that they are not a bother. Ask what you can do to help them feel a bit more comfortable. They’ll appreciate that more than you know.
2. Ask Your Loved One If Your Actions Are Appropriate
If you know that someone you love is struggling with an addiction, they may not be comfortable with you drinking around them or using substances. Ask them if your behavior is okay. By doing this, healthy boundaries can be set. You don’t need their permission to do things, but you’ll both feel better if you can avoid an incident that could’ve been avoided. Asking their opinion shows them that you can about them and their recovery.
3. Show Your Loved One the Same Compassion You Would Show Anyone Else
The last thing that is so important is to treat your loved one with an addiction the same way you would treat anyone else. Do not treat them any differently just because they have an addiction. They don’t want to feel ostracized or babied. They want the same compassion, love, and respect that you would show anyone else. They want to feel a part of the group like anyone else.
Arbor Behavioral Healthcare can give you tips to help you and your loved one along the road to recovery from addiction. Call us now at (844) 413-2690. We can’t wait to help you today!