However, nagging your spouse, friend or family member might be the opposite of helpful. If you want to truly help your loved one, read informative advice on how to change their unhealthy behaviors.
Learn About a Potential Problem
The first thing you must do is learn more about a loved one’s problem, so you can understand why they might have adopted the bad behavior and how you can help. For example, if your loved one is struggling with an addiction, you should not only learn about their compulsion, but you should read an article on understanding physical withdrawal from opiates. By doing so, you’ll have the knowledge you need to confront a loved one about their bad behavior.
Talk to Them About Their Problem
The next step should be to talk to your loved one about their unhealthy behavior. For example, if you are worried they are drinking too much, taking drugs or overeating, you must try to engage them in conversation in a non-confrontational manner. However, avoid expressing judgment and simply ask what’s going on and how you can help.
Ask Open-Ended Questions to Encourage Conversation
If you ask questions that require yes or no answers, it might be easy for a loved one to simply tell you what you want to hear to end a conversation. Instead, try to ask open-ended questions that encourage them to talk. For example, ask them “what ideas do you have to try to change or stop?” or “are you happy with your decisions?”
Listen to Your Loved One
You’re bound to be full of thoughts and ideas to help your loved one. However, you must give them a chance to air their feelings. Once you have asked a question, give them the space to speak and simply listen to what they have to say. If you railroad a conversation, they might not want to discuss their emotions with you any further.
Offer to Help Them Get on the Right Path
There’s often a reason why people adopt bad behaviors. For example, they might want to eat their feelings to cope with emotional pain, or they might turn to drink or drugs to forget about a traumatic event.
It’s important they know you’re there for them to help them overcome their problems and restore their health. Ask how you can help them through this difficult time, which might be all it takes to help them get back onto a healthy path.
Recommend the Best Treatment Options
It doesn’t matter if a person is working too hard, overeating, or taking drugs, they could benefit from professional help. For example, if a loved one is struggling to cope at work due to anxiety, they should speak to a doctor for a diagnosis and to find the best treatment option. However, if they are living with an addiction, they could check into a rehab center to make a recovery.