Being a good friend can be a serious challenge for all addicts. Drug addicts and alcoholics may have “drug buddies” or “drinking buddies,” and sex addicts have acting out (sexual) partners. But addicts are intimacy challenged and avoid closeness, often being isolated except for their work relationships or immediate family.
Sex addicts tend to have a narcissistic defense system, a façade of grandiosity which covers a deeper feeling of unworthiness. The result is that they don’t easily feel safe with anyone. They tend to feel that everyone is either superior or inferior to them and so they avoid taking even the initial steps that might result in a deeper friendship.
Why should the addict learn to be a better friend?
Being a good friend means really connecting with another person. This is a cornerstone of the 12-step philosophy which says basically that no one can recover and grow all alone. It is part of the disease of addiction to be resistant to admitting the need for help and being able to reach out. Hence personal social relationships are seen as a tool of recovery and an indicator that progress is being made.
We need other people with whom we are able to be close and with whom we can give and receive support. We need safe people with whom we can be ourselves and be honest. In learning to be a better friend you as a recovering addict will:
How can you practice being a better friend?
When you make a commitment to become a better friend you do so based on the idea that it is an important thing to do for yourself and for your own growth and development. You do so because it is the right thing to do and it is consistent with your value system. It may feel like you are in uncharted territory, but it does get easier. Here are some ideas:
So make a list of the three or four most likely candidates to be friends with or to build a better friendship with. Be diligent and courageous in taking the necessary steps and over time you will see the rewards. Have a great new year!
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Best of Our Blogs: December 28, 2012 | World of Psychology (December 28, 2012)
Last reviewed: 26 Dec 2012