Your impulses dictate your thoughts, manage your emotions and heavily influence your actions. While every day starts and ends a little different from the last, your compulsive behavior is always present.
No matter how hard you try to fight the overwhelming and irresistible impulses to act, you inevitably cave in. Then you’re left with the feeling that something’s got to give. This is especially true if your compulsive behavior leads you to abuse drugs or alcohol.
More often than not, compulsive behavior and/or drug and alcohol use pushes individuals to sever healthy, advantageous relationships and forge toxic, codependent associations and bonds.
Stopping Compulsive Behavior Starts by Identifying Negative Relationships
Perhaps you’ve started to realize that the company you hold also has a major impact on your thoughts, moods and behaviors. Maybe some friendships and connections are triggers that enable or persuade you to act on your impulses. Or maybe some relationships just aren’t there for you in your times of need, causing you to turn to influential substances to drown out your thoughts or numb reality for a short while.
Either way, the only way your life will improve is if you stop leaning into relationships that are based on fallacies.
Try to step back and view your life and circle of connections from the outside looking in. Which of your current relationships emit the following negative behaviors?:
It can be hard to identify an enabler because they usually want to help you and come off as compassionate and supportive. Most of the time, enablers don’t even realize their actions are negatively affecting you and your compulsive behaviors. Here are some examples of enabling behaviors you may notice within one or more of your relationships:
- Covering up, making excuses, taking the blame or lying for you
- Helping you at the expense of their own needs
- Not following through with rules and consequences they set
- Stepping in to take your responsibilities to ensure nothing falls through the cracks
- Loaning you money time and time again
- Forgiving you and telling you ‘it’s OK, just don’t let it happen again’
Manipulative relationships can sting once you become aware of what’s really going on. Manipulative relationships can make you feel defensive, insecure and even anxious, because manipulation is all about gaining control to achieve a desired outcome. Manipulative people are often:
- Playing the victim, making you feel like you caused a problem for which they will not take responsibility
- Aggressive. They resort to criticizing you or throwing personal attacks your way to get what they want
- Unstable. They can be nice one minute but turn passive aggressive or standoffish the next. This causes confusion and makes you wonder if you did something wrong
Relationships that were built on lies or grew into unstable, untrustworthy connections never do any favors to the human psyche. Dishonest relationships constantly feel weak, untrue, and misleading. Many times, dishonest people display manipulative traits; they may also be lying to hide feelings or actions.
First and foremost, no relationship is perfect – even very healthy ones. It’s important to determine which of your relationships are not really there for you (especially when you need them most). These types of relationships can put a lot of unnecessary strain on you because you need, want or expect one thing from an absent friend, but – in reality – they only:
- Hang out when it’s convenient for them
- Reach out when they want something
- Talk about themselves
- Have time for themselves
- Have time to listen and offer advice on surface level issues
Why Releasing or Avoiding Toxic Relationships is Vital to Controlling Compulsive Behavior
Toxic relationships feed compulsive behaviors. They encourage negative decision patterns and enable compulsive people to wrongfully justify their thoughts and actions.
Compulsive behavior is an instigator of addiction. The longer one allows their negative thoughts, urges or behaviors to persist, the greater the possibility that their behavior will negatively affect their social support system and well-being.
Additionally, these maladaptive behavioral patterns can spread like cancer and eat away at an individual’s moral compass; this results in serious substance addiction.
Controlling Compulsive Behavior: Are You a True Friend?
In assessing your relationships and questioning whether your relationships are true, it’s equally as important to ask yourself: Am I a true friend?
When dealing with unwanted, compulsive behavior and/or substance use, it’s vital that you’re true to your understanding of what a healthy relationship is. Yes, you may have toxic relationships in your life, but in order for you to truly stop compulsive behavior, you must seek to transform your part in relationships, too.
Stopping Compulsive Behavior: 4 Ways to Form Healthy Relationships
It can seem overwhelming and challenging to change course and begin forming healthily relationships. This can lead some individuals to stick to their old ways and never completely control their compulsive behavior.
Building advantageous relationships shouldn’t be overthought. It only takes a commitment to being honest with yourself and with others.
If you want to transform your life by restructuring your social circle, here are four ways to do so:
Strengthen or Reestablish Healthy Family Ties.
A family can prove to be one’s most influential support system; a family holds roots, values and unconditional love and support.
Even if you don’t have an existing or healthy relationship with every family member, you can and should strengthen or reestablish a relationship with the family members that are healthy advocates for your life.
Enablers are oftentimes family members. As noted above, they may not even realize that their enabling actions are negatively affecting you and your compulsive behaviors. They only want to help you and be there for you. You can sit down with the family member(s) that is enabling you and discuss your new goals and how they can help keep you accountable and achieve your new ways of life.
Even if you already have strong family ties, be sure to communicate where you’re currently at in life and how you’re looking to build new healthy relationships in the pursuit to stop your compulsivity.
Spiritual or Religious Gatherings.
Organizations that ask you to look into your heart and view the world from a more caring, understanding lens often hold others who would offer a supportive, healthy hand in friendship.
These types of organizations in general can help you look inward and develop a newfound relationship with yourself while remaining abstinent from compulsive drug and alcohol use.
Community Activity/Wellness Groups and Classes.
Pursuing your hobbies and staying active are some of the most beneficial things you can do to keep your mind busy and compulsive-thought-free. Individuals you meet while engaging in things that truly spark your interests tend to share similar goals and more positive outlooks.
Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous.
If your impulses have lead you to using and abusing drugs and alcohol, there is a national network designed to deliver a safe place for users and addicts to go and receive genuine support and motivation from peers in the journey to quit drug or alcohol use.
Holistic Addiction Rehab that Targets Compulsive Behaviors at Ranch Creek Recovery
Your impulses do not own you. You can reclaim control of your life. At Ranch Creek Recovery, a cornerstone to our addiction treatment programs is life skills education. No matter what substance your compulsive behavior has attached you to, you can get clean and learn how to pursue a prosperous life.
Through an all-encompassing, holistic program, you will gain the skills and mindset that is essential to overcome addiction, evade relapse and build healthy, lifelong relationships.
Have questions? We’re here to help. Contact us today.
CALL NOW: (877) 293-8607