How can I be more compassionate

For recovery discussion
Post Reply
Let123
Forums Newcomer
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Jan 12, 2021 1:57 pm

How can I be more compassionate

Post by Let123 »

Hi All
I've got a new neighbour a lady and I know she has a drink problem. I find her very.critical towards me and I'm finding it hard to like her. I feel like it's twenty questions when I see her. I come from an alcoholic background so her criticism is a trigger for me. Please give me some advice ! Many Thanks !
MyNameIsBetsy
Trusted Servant
Posts: 241
Joined: Mon Oct 07, 2019 4:18 pm
Location: California

Re: How can I be more compassionate

Post by MyNameIsBetsy »

Hi, thanks for posting Let123.

I've never been able to solve someone else's drink problem. Tried it. Failed at it. But will probably try it again. And will probably fail at it again. =biggrin

All I know to do is play the "long game." I let those near me know that I am a sober alcoholic. I don't lead with that information during introductions, but as time goes on and we get to know each other, I tell them. Then if they want to bring it up again, I will do what I can to answer questions or be supportive.

Betsy, an alcoholic
"Rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path."
DaveP1951
Forums Enthusiast
Posts: 186
Joined: Fri Feb 21, 2020 4:08 pm
Location: WhiteRock British Columbia Canada

Re: How can I be more compassionate

Post by DaveP1951 »

Part of the problem with answering posted questions on forums like this is a lack of information. Is the problem that the woman "criticizes" you or is the question/problem "How can you be more compassionate?" With the information I have I will ask this question. Is the title of your post also the answer to dealing with the criticism?"
Last edited by DaveP1951 on Fri Mar 05, 2021 10:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
Brock
Trusted Servant
Posts: 4702
Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2012 1:45 pm

Re: How can I be more compassionate

Post by Brock »

You sound like a nice person, but I have never seen it written that we should like everybody. In AA I have heard people discuss ‘boundaries,’ and for me, a neighbor or anyone else being unduly critical is crossing the boundary and not being ‘nice' themselves, why should I like or be nice to someone who is not nice to me. I would give them the cold shoulder and either not answer or be very short the next time it happens, just walk away, and if by chance they ask why we are doing that we then say something like you are critical every time I see you. Spiritual teachers speak about avoiding ‘toxic’ people and this sounds like one to avoid, it’s for your own peace of mind and is not considered selfish. There is advice about dealing with toxic people on youtube etc., maybe you will have a look at that.
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."
DaveP1951
Forums Enthusiast
Posts: 186
Joined: Fri Feb 21, 2020 4:08 pm
Location: WhiteRock British Columbia Canada

Re: How can I be more compassionate

Post by DaveP1951 »

we then say something like you are critical every time I see you.
So simple and yet so true. Unfortunately many people are "peace at all cost" type of people. They are unwilling or unable to confront people that, at times, need confronting. So they either try to deal with the fear of confrontation by avoidance or by admitting there is a problem. Unfortunately this "peace at all costs" attitude can cost us our sobriety.
Someone may think " But if I tell this person how I feel it may destroy the relationship." Chances are however that telling someone "how you honestly feel" about something will open up a dialogue and improve the relationship. If not then the relationship was not worth having.
In the AA literature it talks about "having the best possible relationships with others. I worked with a guy who had some serious emotional and mental problems. I tried as best I could to "fix things." There came a time when I realized the "best possible relationship" I could have with him was to to dis-engage from his life.
Let123
Forums Newcomer
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Jan 12, 2021 1:57 pm

Re: How can I be more compassionate

Post by Let123 »

Hi All
Thank you for all your words of wisdom.
I do need to be brave and speak my truth in an assertive manner. I can and do avoid confrontation because of the chaos and anger in my background. It's gave me great food for thought.
I don't have to like everyone or people please and make it all better. It's made me think about my own discomfort in situations. I'll keep the focus on me and detache from this person. If she is rude or critical again I will be honest as to how I feel !
God bless 🙏 you all !!
User avatar
PaigeB
Trusted Servant
Posts: 9197
Joined: Fri Jun 24, 2011 12:28 pm
Location: Iowa USA

Re: How can I be more compassionate

Post by PaigeB »

Let123 wrote: Fri Mar 05, 2021 3:20 pm Hi All
Thank you for all your words of wisdom.
I do need to be brave and speak my truth in an assertive manner. I can and do avoid confrontation because of the chaos and anger in my background. It's gave me great food for thought.
I don't have to like everyone or people please and make it all better. It's made me think about my own discomfort in situations. I'll keep the focus on me and detache from this person. If she is rude or critical again I will be honest as to how I feel !
God bless 🙏 you all !!
You might try a daily "Loving Compassion" reading or whatever you can find out there in the web or sent to your inbox. I originally came to e-aa many years ago because I wanted to read our Daily Reflections every day as a way of starting my day on a spiritual basis. Daily readings keep my spirit up BEFORE the issues come up and I tend to think of the reading throughout the day. It has worked for me and it has worked MORE than I ever thought it would. That is my experience and that is why I suggest it. I won't make suggestions for WHAT you might read - that will be something personal to YOU!

Thank you for realizing this woman needs compassion more than WAR. Peace & Blessings to you.
Cling to the thought that, in God's hands, the dark past is the greatest possession you have - the key to life and happiness for others. With it you can avert death and misery for them. page 124 BB
Mike O
Forums Old Timer
Posts: 3301
Joined: Wed Apr 30, 2008 9:55 am
Location: UK

Re: How can I be more compassionate

Post by Mike O »

Her “drink problem” would not concern me unless she asked me to help.
1Peter5:10
Forums Contributor
Posts: 237
Joined: Mon Nov 27, 2017 8:56 pm

Re: How can I be more compassionate

Post by 1Peter5:10 »

You are not that powerful.
You cannot help someone who pretends to want your help
but, in reality wants to rewrite the Big Book and do it her way.

An alcoholic who is ALMOST ready to get sober
- Knows he has a problem.
- Reached out and asks for help
- Is often angry and/or critical.
- Pretends to want your help but in reality wants you to accept and co-sign her own self-made recently-invented path to sobriety.

Working With Others (pp 89 - 103)
Recommends
- a lot of listening and
- and no pressure for her to do it "your" way,
- BUT when she is ready, to do things"your" way, be ready to help.
1Peter5:10
Forums Contributor
Posts: 237
Joined: Mon Nov 27, 2017 8:56 pm

Re: How can I be more compassionate

Post by 1Peter5:10 »

WWO also recommends that if/when she states she is not comfortable with some part of the program +like, higher power, or like a thorough housecleaning,) Do not argue the point. Neither Bill Wilson nor any of the old timers insist "Our way is the only way."

When she raises such objections, feel free to say
- that you once felt that way
- that somewhere on the planet at least one person has probably gotten sober without those parts,
-. BUT you only know how YOU did it and that is the only information you possess.

She is free to try any way she wants.
She is under no obligation to you whatsoever.
If she wants to do it your way you are ready to help. 😃
Aggiejim
Forums Enthusiast
Posts: 39
Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2008 9:45 am

Re: How can I be more compassionate

Post by Aggiejim »

Brock wrote: Fri Mar 05, 2021 10:46 am You sound like a nice person, but I have never seen it written that we should like everybody.

This is true. Old timers told me that if you like everybody you know in AA, you're not going to enough meetings.
Post Reply