SFP 004 – Motivating Your Addicted Loved One Without Nagging, Threatening or Blaming

In this episode of The Sober Families Podcast, we talked with Dr. Christeine Terry about alternatives to nagging, threatening, and pleading as ways to motivate your loved one. First off, we want you to know that it’s really natural to get angry, to threaten, and to make bargains as a way to change your loved one. And yet, these ways of interaction generally don’t work to motivate people to change their behavior. So, instead we wanted to spend some time introducing some scientific principles for motivating more positive behavior.

We discussed two principles in this episode. One is called using “rewards” (also known as reinforcement). Rewards tend to be more effective when you use rewards. We talked about how nagging, threatening, pleading, and arguing can unintentionally reward behaviors.

The other one is a strategy called “stepping away.” Stepping away is a strategy you can use when someone is doing something we don’t like, such as drinking or drug use. Stepping away is an alternative to fighting, nagging, or bargaining.

Now, these ideas can be a bit difficult to put into practice at first, so we’ve provided additional information in some of our blog posts on the Sober Families website. You can find those in the links below.

In this podcast we talk about:

  • How rewarding the behavior you want works better than trying to get rid of what you don’t want

  • How arguing with, pleading, and threatening can actually backfire

  • How to use “stepping away” instead of arguing to avoid arguments and to give yourself space to take care of yourself

  • The four step process for using the “stepping away” strategy.

Items mentioned in this podcast include:

Jason Luoma