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Non 12 Step News for June 14, 2015

Generalizing From Yourself Again?

One common error we all make is in thinking that other people make decisions the same way we do. Wrong.

Even when the behaviors are the same, the reasoning – or lack thereof – differs enormously. Some of us, for example, control our behaviors based on a personal internalized system of checks and balances, usually called ethics. Others use religion based “rules” referred to as morals which involve using partially internal and partially external guidelines on what is, or isn’t, acceptable behavior.

Further down the developmental tree, behavior is based on what is legal, a completely externalized set of controls with no thought beyond adhering to the rules.

Below that, the only consideration is not “getting caught.”

None of these constraints are based on gender, ethnicity, intelligence, education, or age. Yet most of us act, and believe, that however we make decisions is the way others of similar background do. Nothing could be further from the truth – and it’s one of the reasons why “one size fits all” treatment is doomed.

The mature – and overly mature – adults who make up our clientele, and readers, do not make decisions the same way most people do. You are among those who make choices based on a well-developed and internalized set of standards and values. But since you are “outliers” without knowing it, you find yourself lonely, isolated, and frustrated while being unable to either explain it or figure out how to fix it.

The “explaining” part is fairly easy. You are “older” than most of your chronological peers and may also have fallen into the trap of assuming that older means more mature. It doesn’t – it just means older.

Real maturity also confers a number of characteristics that are not commonly shared. For example, finding differences – whether ethnic, cultural, geographic, or even gender – interesting rather than threatening.

It also increases your ability to have, and your need for, intimate relationships.

Unhappily, this latter need may well go unmet given a paucity of peers with the same abilities and desires.

Which bring us around to drinking as a way of compensating, blunting, and artificially regressing yourself to others’ levels.

As noted, explanations are easy, fixes are not, which is why you may decide to come to us. Since we only work with individuals and couples, and as there are two of us, we are able to craft a plan that is as unique as you are. So, when you are ready to create a life based on your particular strengths, interests, abilities, and history, give us a call and let’s get started.?


Passivity? Probably Not a Good Idea.

In line with the problems mentioned above, comes the assumption that we shouldn’t have to stand up for ourselves and it’s just easier – and “nicer” – to “go along to get along.”

There are, of course, people for whom this life strategy works – but they aren’t coming through our door. Or even considering it.

For the rest of us, drinking not only buffers us from our lives’ disappointments but also acts as a very effective passive-aggressive weapon to punish controlling spouses, partners, other family members, or the world in general.

Trouble is, it also guarantees that the loneliness and boredom will never cease, that no one will ever have to listen to your complaints, justified or not, and you end up looking like “the problem.”

Passivity is really a trap and you are the one who gets caught in it. If you also lash out with drunken aggression the situation gets even worse. And through it all you get labeled, demeaned, exploited, and isolated.

Is that “security of familiar miseries” really worth it?

Again, if it was, you wouldn’t be reading this or calling our number.

Yes, we all want instant gratification, magic, and for everyone else to change first. None of that is going to happen. Remember, the people around you, whether they claim to like it or not, derive many benefits from your drinking.

These include:

  • never having to pay any attention to you;
  • being able to manipulate you through guilt;
  • never having to address their own issues, which are frequently worse than your drinking problem;
  • marginalizing your wants, needs, and desires.

I’m sure you can add others based on your own unique personal situation, but I’m also sure you get the idea.

Please, also remember that no one else is going to step up for you, and sacrifice their benefits, until you first stand up for yourself.

Would you like us to help you figure out how to start doing that?

(Yes, we know. You really do not like needing, asking for, or accepting, help.)

By |2016-11-14T06:14:07+00:00June 14th, 2015|Newsletters|0 Comments

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