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I_don't_know_how_to_have_a_mature_disagreement

Old 03-03-2010, 10:04 PM
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I_don't_know_how_to_have_a_mature_disagreement

Ok, I'm between 60 and 90 days. I use AA (sponsor, steps, HP, service work, other alcoholics), outpatient therapy, and SR for my recovery.

I realized today I don't know how to have a mature disagreement with another human being. I really can't speak on how I used to do it when I used alcohol and drugs to cope with all things life, but... now-a-days, I'll either say something I regret or I'll harbor an intense resentment that I either have to apologize for or I "stew" about it for a LONG time.

Any advice is mucho appreciato.

Thanks!
Kjell
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Old 03-03-2010, 10:14 PM
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I hate that!!! I was like that for a long time!!! My mom ended up giving me a book, "how to win friends & influence people" Those are not my normal reading matierals by any means, but I knew I had somewhat of a temper problem, and I read it it worked!! I have chilled out a lot, and learned more professional ways to tell people to shut up, without being offensive or rude but try that!!

as for the stewing over things...Try to think about things this way...If you are gonna look back on a later date and laugh about it...might as well laugh now!!! Or also, do I really want to let that stupid person ruin my entire day!?!? no way, Im better then that, few deep breaths, be thankfull thats not me, and continue on with my day
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Old 03-03-2010, 10:26 PM
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Sorry Kjell but again totally normal in my experience, it was like learning a new skill and what i also learned, which sucks by the way, is that practical applications of what we learn is necessary to actually aquire this new skill and strike the balance we are looking for which, once again my experience, more than not means a few virtual kicks in our groin area (well it feels like that anyway) before actually getting to the right balance for ourselves:-)

I say sorry because that isn't really what i want to hear, i don't know about you...i'd much prefer to read a book and then hey presto but, for me, it doesn't work like that!
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Old 03-04-2010, 02:57 AM
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iīve been using since i was 14, 26 now,

I too never learned to have an argument, learning it now tough...

I guess itīs crucial too keep talking no matter how you feel....
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Old 03-04-2010, 03:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Kjell View Post
Ok, I'm between 60 and 90 days. I use AA (sponsor, steps, HP, service work, other alcoholics), outpatient therapy, and SR for my recovery.

I realized today I don't know how to have a mature disagreement with another human being. I really can't speak on how I used to do it when I used alcohol and drugs to cope with all things life, but... now-a-days, I'll either say something I regret or I'll harbor an intense resentment that I either have to apologize for or I "stew" about it for a LONG time.

Any advice is mucho appreciato.

Thanks!
Kjell


Hi Kjell,

This is very prominent topic in my life at the moment. I am learning but I still have much more to learn.

I am reading the book The New Codependancy by Melodie Beattie. I highly recommend it as it fits in very nicely with all your AA work/addictions/alcoholism


These quotes are from the book

Most recovering addicts and alcoholics have codependency underneath
Are we talking to manipulate, control, or alter someone's elses perception instead of to honestly express ourselves? We can't simultaneously communicate who we are and control or manipulate. When we are manipulating or controlling, we're not speaking the truth.
Do you want them to fix you, validate you, make you feel better?
Do you think that someone else has the power to make you feel whole and complete?


Harmonizing is an alternative to confrontation. It's a powerful way to communicate when people have opposing points of view (POV) or when we want to discuss something delicate............Instead of telling people what's wrong with how they see things or what they do, we acknowledge their POV. And then we gently segue into our POV and explain why it has value, too. Because harmonizing doesn't attack, it eliminates the need to defend.
The New Codependency is the updated sequel to Codependent No More by the same author.


Well worth the money, in my opinion.
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Old 03-04-2010, 05:14 AM
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Everyone IS entitled to their own opinion and it's totally ok to disagree. Also, it's all in the presentation. I know it's hard but with some work, you'll get there. Try to give yourself a second to think about how you're going to respond. Ask the person, "can I get back to you on that?"

Let me tell you, I DID NOT have the patience with people years ago that I have today when it came to disagreeing. I see the change in myself totally. Working with bunch of addicts........they can stand there and yell all they want at me while I just sit there and let them finish and I talk calmly.

Someone who may be making a suggestion for me that in my head I'm thinking "no way, not for me", but I'll thank them for the suggestion and maybe even tell them "no thanks."

Some minor examples because I know there's some hot topics out there to be discussed.

Kjell, you'll get there. Take some deep breaths, keep talking to your sponsor and working the steps. Once you have all of your tools in place and do some work this will all come natural for you.

I think you're doing great!!!
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Old 03-04-2010, 05:38 AM
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Kjell, You're still pretty early in recovery and that's great especially the 'in recovery' part, I'm still "new" at two years. Part of recovery is learning or relearning how to do things that seem to come naturally for "normals". Don't sweat it these things take time and it sounds like you know how to handling things, just watch out for the resentments...they can be bad news. peace.
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Old 03-04-2010, 06:06 AM
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Hello Kjell,

I learned early on that "it's more important to be happy than it is to be right" and sometimes saying nothing at all speaks volumes.

Speaking only for myself, in early recover, I was still used to my dysfunctional way of thinking - was still a people-pleaser, didn't have the liquid courage to get in someone's face, didn't want to "rock the boat" - the list goes on.

Early recovery, thankfully, is full of new discoveries: our way of thinking, how we look at the world, how we actually feel about things now that we're not anesthetized with the booze.

What worked for me was to listen more, speak less. I also learned that there's a world of difference between being assertive vs. being aggressive.

Finally, in all things, verbally or not, I found that asking myself "what's my motivation?" usually put things in perspective as to what actions I should take.

It's all normal and it gets easier in time. It's SO freeing to be able to actually "think" before we speak, rather than spout off in a drunken haze and regret it in the morning.

I always hung out with sober, calm and content people in AA at first and just listened. I found so much wisdom and insight.
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Old 03-04-2010, 03:03 PM
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Thanks for all the responses - very helpful!

I had a meeting today and I read these before I went in and did much better

I'll also want to say thank you for the book recomendations.

Kjell
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Old 03-04-2010, 03:10 PM
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Kjell,

I just want to add that I had to learn how to say `No`. It was a really big deal for me to accept that some people were not going to like me. I had to take small steps and get used to the idea that I could be me, I could express my opinions respectfully, and that some people were not going to agree.
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Old 03-04-2010, 03:24 PM
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I heard something profound in a meeting the other night. "I finally learned that just because I'm invited to the fight doesn't mean I have to attend." I agree with everyone else. I don't think any of us knew how to have a mature anything! But, in sobriety, we can learn from others who are farther down the path than we are.

Hang in there!
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Old 03-04-2010, 07:46 PM
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Wink

and in the end there's always...

"We can agree to disagree."

You can't argue with that one.
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Old 03-04-2010, 08:08 PM
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What I was told when 1st in recovery is that I had spent so much time hiding feelings behind my addiction that when I finally let myself feel things the emotions hit twice as hard at first..Anger, sadness all of them..It gets better..
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Old 03-04-2010, 08:53 PM
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For me this issue is one of the chicken or egg scenerios that surround alcoholism or dependency in general. What came first the reason or the alcohol.

I hear exactly what Kjell is saying...only I cannot see into his past or youth. I have the same problem to an extent and while reading the posts Anna's post hit me in the face.

Back to my first sentence. I grew up in a house of constant fighting to the point of just anarchy that was contained.(somehow moms nuttiness never made its way through the walls).

Lop onto that a sister who was totally brutal and out of control. That didn't help with the fighting.....ohhhh, no! She should be in prison today, were it not for my dad.

I remember waking up at 3 in the morning due to fights and turmoil, only to go to bed after it was over.

My mother used to have a much angrier vision of things as she does today....Back in the day I would sit in front of the TV watching UCONN basketball (right when they became good) hoping that it would drown out the screaming.

My friends became my only real outlet for a happy life and I loved them. Well, when the neighbor friends were around it was different but as I got older it continued through HS...I wouldn't disagree or fight with those girls or guys because I feared they would not like me that much anymore.....It goes on today with me "not liking me".

For me it is all about the fear of confrontation....which is a huge fear and the reason is this.

Let's say I disagree with or don't like somebody...Well, most people will tell them they disagree or will have no problem voicing their views. Not me, I let it build up, and up, and up......and let it sit in my head and then when something finally triggers me to explode I explode. Never violantly, but being so mad that I can't even speak or debate straight. Normally, I've built up enough goodwill by then, but it would be alot better if I could just say what is on my mind before the buildup.

So what came first...the fear of confrontation or the alcohol? I will spend the rest of my life trying to figure that one out.

Sorry for my diatribe.....but I think it makes some sense to somebody besides myself

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Old 03-05-2010, 08:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Anna View Post
Kjell,

I just want to add that I had to learn how to say `No`. It was a really big deal for me to accept that some people were not going to like me. I had to take small steps and get used to the idea that I could be me, I could express my opinions respectfully, and that some people were not going to agree.
Hmmm... learning how to say no and to also accept that some people are not going to like me... These are strange words you speak
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