Negative People in Recovery

Negative People in Recovery

We all know those people who only have bad things to say. Who like to gossip about other people and seem to take delight in others’ struggles – those negative people in recovery. Or maybe you are the negative one among your group of friends and acquaintances. Just because someone has stopped abusing drugs and alcohol does not mean that they are now mentally healthy. There will always be negative people in recovery and it’s important to identify them if you want to be successful in your recovery.

Addiction and Negativity

People who abuse or have abused alcohol and other drugs often have an extremely negative mental attitude. Often times, we get caught up in the grip of addiction because of the negative experiences we have had in the past. As addiction takes root, we begin to feel a lot of shame and guilt about using drugs and alcohol thereby feeding our negative attitudes. Addicts then become trapped in a negative mindset and that way can continue to justify their drug using behaviors: by only seeing the bad things in life, they can then use these as excuses to abuse alcohol and drugs.

Dangers of Negative People to Those in Recovery

Once you get clean and sober, it is not only important to shift from being a negative person but to also identify and avoid negative people in recovery. This is because humans are social beings and therefore we have a significant impact on each other. The people you surround yourself with will definitely influence your success, or lack thereof, in sobriety.

Characteristics of Negative People in Recovery

Once you are aware of what we mean as being negative, it is important to be aware of negative people in recovery so that you can not only be successful at sobriety but also have an overall better quality of life. Now that you are clean and sober, you deserve to be happy and have a more peaceful life. Negative people in recovery can keep you from having this.

 Negative people in recovery tend to share the following characteristics:

  • They are pessimistic, in general, and especially about the future – “the glass is always half empty;” they expect bad things to happen to them
  • They don’t other people; always think others have an ulterior motive even when being extended help
  • They seem to lose friends easily; almost always have somebody in their life who they aren’t talking to
  • They blame other people for all the bad things that happen to them
  • They constantly criticize others and the world, in general
  • They tend to be passive aggressive or even openly aggressive
  • They blow things out of proportions (always have some kind of drama)
  • They enjoy hearing about other people’s misfortunes, such as when someone relapses
  • Negative people in recovery tend to be completely self-centered
  • They are easily offended yet are oblivious to the fact that they often offend or hurt other people

Resentments and Relapse

You may have heard this one quite a bit: holding on to resentments will take you back out (into active addiction). There is a lot of truth to those words of caution. It is important to let go of resentments in order to heal and be successful at sobriety. Negative people in recovery, although they may be sober for the time being, are like a ticking time bomb. They might be off the drugs and alcohol but they are emotionally unwell. They hold onto anger and resentment towards the people that they feel have wronged them. Negative people in recovery are bitter about their past experiences and are not willing to let go and forgive. They get hung up on focusing on other people’s faults and shortcomings but are unwilling to look at their own. And, even if they pass themselves off as being your friend, negative people in recovery resent the success of other people and this includes you. You need to have true and positive friends in your corner if you are serious about your success at recovery.





How to be non-judgmental towards your Sponsee

How to be non-judgmental towards your Sponsee

How to be non-judgmental towards your Sponsee

Being judgmental is a part of human behavior. Unfortunately when we are judgmental it creates a division between us and other people. The same goes when you are judgmental towards your sponsee, that judgment creates a division between you making it almost impossible for them to connect with you on a deeper level. The best way to remain non-judgmental towards your sponsee is to remember you once were exactly where they were. You weren’t always the recovered sponsor, at one point you were the new sponsee.

If you find yourself passing judgment on your sponsee here are some ways to be non-judgmental towards your sponsee:

  1. Don’t pass judgment – This sounds redundant and probably fairly obvious but it isn’t as easy as it sounds. If you find yourself being judgmental towards your sponsee, stop yourself. It takes a lot of awareness or greater awareness rather than we usually have. So the first step to be non-judgmental towards your sponsee is to observe your thoughts when you are with them, while trying to notice if you are being judgmental. Remind yourself to observe. Once you are more aware of when you are being judgmental you can begin to stop yourself.
  2. Understand -Understanding is the opposite of judgment. Instead of judging your sponsee for what he or she has done, how they look, their actions; try to understand them. Put yourself in your sponsee’s shoes. Try to imagine your sponsee’s background. Talk to them and see if you can get them to open up about their story. This can really help with being non-judgmental towards your sponsee. You may find that the things you were judging them for actually have circumstances behind them that explain or have led your sponsee to acting like they do.
  3. Acceptance – Once you find understanding with your sponsee or at least you think you can kind of understand; which you should because you have been where they are, accept them for who they are without trying to change them. Your job as sponsor isn’t to judge your sponsees anyway, your job is to be a non-judgmental friend and support for them. Accept your sponsee for who they are and don’t try to change them. Accept that they will act the way they do and that it isn’t your place to change them but rather just to be there to help. The world is the way it is and as much as you can try to change the people in it, including your sponsees, no one can change another person. If you can find acceptance you are well on your way to being non-judgmental towards your sponsee.
  4. Love – Loving your sponsees rather than judging them will have an effect on you both. Loving others will make you happier and them. Loving your sponsee can change their life and your own. If you can accept your sponsee for who they are you can love them. Love them as a brother, sister, daughter, etc. It doesn’t matter their background, how they act, what they say etc. Just love them. If you do this then being non-judgmental towards your sponsees not only will help them but will help you too.