Fighting rarely encourages positive change in a loved one. Arguing or yelling provokes defensiveness, which undermines motivation for change. If you’re in the habit of arguing, consider these steps to diffuse the situation.
1. Recognize Ambivalence
The first step in avoiding arguing or yelling is coming to terms with your loved one’s ambivalence. This means that they have mixed feelings, and are likely struggling with accepting their substance use.
Backing off a bit will give them a chance to see their ambivalence for what it is instead of being defensive with you. They may want to believe what they are doing is okay because the benefits outweigh the costs. Arguing with them won't help.