When you are actively in addiction, it feels sometimes easier to be social because you’re around others who are doing similar things and just engaged in doing this activity with people that makes them open up and talk more. Sometimes you drink because it makes it easier to be social and decreases inhibitions. Sometimes addictive behavior is hidden, which keeps you from socializing with others. In sobriety, loneliness can work against your recovery if you are alone too often with your own thoughts. Sobriety is a great time to work at getting your social mojo back on track.
Socializing in Recovery
Take away the addictive behavior and you may be thrust into an entirely new world. It seems reasonable to sort of panic for a moment and wonder what you are doing there. The truth is, over time, your success in recovery hinges on your willingness to feel disturbing, difficult emotions and take action anyways. There will come a day when you will be in the mood, ready to learn how to make friends or connect with loved ones. Some key ways to get started on socializing in recovery may include:
- Show interest in new activities. There will likely be lots of avenues for exploration available now you are sober. Turn down the volume on some of them and look at ones that help you relate better with others, like group hobbies or sports clubs.
- Ask lots of questions. Asking questions shows interest in what the speaker is saying, and a person can learn so much about the others, which helps lay an important foundation for meaningful interaction.
- Be empathetic. Having awareness of one’s emotional states allows a person to connect with them. Offering support in moments of distress, consoling them through disappointment, or sharing in moments of joy can create camaraderie. This is probably the most effective action of all social skills and can provide open doors to making friends.
- Make eye contact. Focus on looking people in the eye when greeting them. It can be hard after spending so much time in addiction looking away, or avoiding people’s gazes. Sometimes that is how people cope with the shame and guilt of addiction, but creating social connection is all about looking people square in the eye and letting them know you’re happy to meet their acquaintance.
The most important aspect of socializing in recovery is never give up. Don’t give up on the idea you can create a new life for yourself where you get to socialize and enjoy all life has to offer now you are in recovery.
The Springboard Center’s addiction treatment programs are tailored to meet the needs of each client. We will help you build social skills with our group environment and group therapy sessions. By utilizing a set of diverse methods of addiction treatment, we are able to deal with your addiction from all angles and concentrate on every aspect of your healing process. Call for more information: 432-620-0255