Addiction Helpline and Resource Center

Can Improving Interpersonal Communication Skills Help Recovery?

Can Improving Interpersonal Communication Skills Help Recovery?

Improving how we interact and communicate with others can provide long-lasting healing and addiction recovery

Our personality and behaviors are built, developed and reinforced through interpersonal communication and interaction. As Philip J. Flores writes, “Personality is almost entirely a product of a person’s interaction with others,” we have a basic need to be closely related to others, we seek approval and avoid disapproval and we base our concept of self on this perceived approval and disapproval (Group Psychotherapy with Addicted Populations, 2013). Because so much of who we are and what we do is socially constructed, we can most fully understand our behaviors, strengths and weaknesses by examining our interactions with others. When our behaviors or thought patterns are harmful, exploring our self-perception and improving how we interact and communicate with others can provide long-lasting healing.

Interpersonal Communication and Self-Perception

Addiction-related attributes can be improved through improved communication skills and a better understanding of how others and self-image influence thoughts and behaviors. Because of this Flores explains, “a mental disorder [such as addiction] is not statically embedded in a person. Instead, psychopathology is considered to be anchored in a dysfunctional system and interaction.” This means the non-physical components of addiction are rooted in how we interact with others and how this influences our belief in who we are and what we do.

Problematic self-image and negative behaviors are often a product of negative or harmful interactions. While stepping outside of our perception of self, others and the world can seem like an overwhelming task, identifying the root causes and interactions that contribute to addiction and other mental health symptoms allows us to break free from harmful thoughts and behaviors and develop positive interpersonal communication and relationships. How we view ourselves and others and interact in the world is not set or unchangeable, and our behaviors, thoughts and actions are similarly malleable. This means there is always hope for addiction recovery and that recovery can come through exploring relationships with ourselves and others.

Changing How We Communicate

If you are ready to begin a conversation about addiction and recovery, call our toll-free helpline. We are here 24 hours a day to help you find resources for improving interpersonal skills and ending addiction-related thoughts and behaviors, or we can help you communicate with a loved one who is in need of recovery help. There is no wrong time or reason to call, and all conversations and phone services are free and confidential. Please reach out and make a change today.

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