Achieving lasting recovery becomes complicated when your ego still rules you. The ego is one major contributor to addiction for some people, leading them to believe they don’t have a problem or push others away since they don’t think they need their advice or help. If you are in recovery and still have your ego assuming an influential role in your decisions and life, know that it affects you on many levels, not just in your recovery. Likely, it is also preventing you from truly connecting with yourself, your partner, and others.
The Ego Blocks Authentic Communication
Our ability to communicate with others is one of the most significant ways we connect. Communicating honestly and authentically risks you feeling vulnerable about your inner feelings, which is highly contradictory to the ego. If you are struggling with a history of addiction, this is even more difficult for you since you may have spent years avoiding yourself and your internal pain. By beginning to choose authentic communication, you can finally be honest with yourself and others, allowing you to connect better and communicate openly.
How to Start Using Authentic Communication
- Listen: To be a better listener, be fully present and remember to pause before you speak. Choosing to respond rather than react helps prevent you from speaking from a place of emotions and can better create a mutual understanding with others.
- Stop the Assumptions: All the time, we assume why others said or did something, but thinking that we can know what someone else is thinking or feeling is impossible. Instead of assuming, try asking the person what is going on.
- Assign Words to Your True Feelings: Instead of lashing out over the little things, ask yourself why they are making you upset. Is there something else going on underneath that may be causing you to overreact? Start to verbalize your feelings, especially when something is bothering you, to prevent deflecting or the cycle of “score-keeping” with your friends, family, or partners.
Useful Phrases for Authentic Communication
- “I feel ______ when you do ______.”
- “How do you feel about that?”
- “I feel afraid and like you might abandon me.”
- “Can we work together and create healthy boundaries around ______?”
- “I need some time alone before I decide how I feel about that.”
- “Let’s openly and honestly express our needs. I’ll go first…”
Learning to communicate authentically will help better your relationships with yourself and others while also minimizing your ego in the process. Not letting your ego run the show is critical to maintaining a successful recovery. If you or a loved one is struggling to get or remain sober, consider contacting Avalon Malibu. Avalon is a leading substance abuse treatment center in Southern California where effective, individualized care is our top priority. Call us at (844) 857-5992 to hear how we can walk with you on this journey to better health.