Refusing an offer to drink or use takes courage, inner strength, and self-confidence. The ability to refuse can be expanded by developing the related skills listed below.
Assertiveness — Developing assertiveness skills will allow you to stand up for yourself, stick to your own opinions, protect yourself, and communicate honestly and directly. Speaking assertively will allow you to say no when offered a drink, are invited to a party, or asked to buy drugs. Let your body language be congruent with your words. Stand tall, put your shoulders back, and say it like you mean it.
Effective Problem Solving — Being insecure, timid, and unsure reduces your overall effectiveness in solving problems. As you grow in your recovery, choose to develop increased skills at being proactive, taking on challenges, discovering creative solutions, and finding answers. Suggest other options or alternatives to using, drinking, or going to a party. Prepare your suggestions in advance.
Increased Self Control — As your recovery program becomes more stable, you will have an increased ability to delay gratification. Continue to set limits for yourself, live within boundaries, and stay reliable and dependable. Don’t let yourself become easily offended when someone makes demands on you. Take responsibility for your own actions and own your mistakes rather than blaming others for your inconsistencies.
Priority Management — You are growing in your ability to see and do the next right thing. Continue to highly prioritize your sobriety and recovery. Building a solid foundation for your recovery will take time. Commitment levels start out high at first but grow weak and weary over time. Be aware of this and don’t lose sight of your reasons for staying clean and sober. Keep your motivation for recovery high.
Increased Self-Esteem — Making lifestyle change is difficult to say the least. Developing refusal skills is also easier said than done, and is only possible as you believe in yourself, stand your ground, and remain confident. Continue to see past your failures and move toward your new life of recovery. Self-esteem is increased as you respect yourself and acknowledge your strengths and accomplishments. With increased self-esteem, you become a powerful ruler over your own new life.
Becoming more assertive, increasing your problem-solving ability, keeping your priorities straight, communicating well, and having healthy self-esteem all work together to enable you to stick to your recovery plan. Refusal skills are important to your overall sense of well-being and enable you to develop the healthy and sober lifestyle you desire. The above-mentioned skills are worth working through. Find ways to use your group and individual therapy to enhance your proficiency.
Recovery is a journey. Enjoy the ride!