Having an addictive personality has a lot of bad press. You may assume that someone afflicted with such a trait is susceptible to highly destructive behavior, self-loathing and a malicious streak.
While this is certainly true for some people, many others find themselves with uncontrollable compulsions that aren’t harmful but still life impacting. For example, someone who is addicted to watching boxsets may find themselves socially alienated as they would rather be alone watching the latest season of the top-rated American comedy rather than enjoying social gatherings with friends.
People with an addictive personality can lose sight of what’s important and have a blinkered view of the world. All is not lost. Breaking the cycle of an addictive personality is possible. Read on to find out how.
Those people who have an addictive personality often flit from one hobby or pastime to another as they tend to get bored very quickly. It is not the activity that they are addicted to but the newness and novelty of beginning something they’ve never done before. We all know the euphoric rush of a new love or the exhilaration of getting a new job. Most people accept this feeling and enjoy the stability and security of falling into a long-term relationship or settling into work. Those with an addictive personality are terrified by the thought of stagnating.
Help someone you know by talking to them about their feelings. Try and rationalize their inherent need for newness. Encourage them to give a new hobby longer to embed and see if they begin to acknowledge the positives of being settled and not starting again.
Although some addictions are not implicitly harmful, others definitely are. When considering how alcohol harms you, the constant need to drink to function is highly destructive. As well as alcohol, an addiction to drugs can also lead to severe health problems, isolation, and financial problems. If you know someone who has a drink or drugs problem, ensure that they know you are there should they need to talk. Suggest rehabilitation but don’t push it. The impulsive behavior that they show towards these man-made substances will not diminish overnight, and they need to figure out for themselves that they need help.
With an addictive personality often comes low self-esteem and self-worth. Someone who cannot hold down a job or struggles financially can find themselves in a constant state of depression. Their thought processes can seem irrational, and they may not feel like they fit in with society. Try to be there for them, visit them and cook for them. Talk about mind-numbing and boring tidbits of life like the weather, the news or the roadworks down the street. By bringing a sense of normality into their world, you are pushing their intrusive and destructive thoughts into the background.
When you have a party or a social gathering to attend invite your friend. They may refuse to come at first but persevere. One day they will want to leave the house, get away from their boxset and entertain a different way of life.
An addictive personality cycle is difficult to break especially when someone is in the throes of negative self-worth and impulsive behavior. If you can help them see their own self-worth and demonstrate to them the positive alternatives to an addictive way of life, you can help them break the cycle for good.