Addiction is a complicated subject. For family members of addicts who may think they have control over their dependence, it's especially difficult to know how to even begin to broach the topic. Iyanla Vanzant has worked with many troubled individuals, including addicts, and has learned several things about confronting an addict.
The first step in confronting a loved on about his or her addiction, Iyanla advises, is for you to clearly state that you know they are addicted. "If you go into the conversation waiting for them to admit it to you, you can very easily be talked out of it," she says.
From the very beginning of the conversation -- or "carefrontation," as Iyanla calls it in the above video -- it is very important to approach the addict with compassion. Begin by putting yourself in the addict's shoes for a moment.
"Think about a time when there was something you did not want to talk about and someone just insisted that you have the conversation," Iyanla says. "What were the two things you felt? The first was probably anger and the second was probably fear, which led you into resistance."
Be prepared to be met with the same anger and fear when you confront an addicted loved one. "They're not resisting you. They're resisting the conversation," Iyanla explains. "They're afraid what might come out. So, be compassionate."
Iyanla also advises that you keep the goals of the conversation in perspective, saying, "You already know what you know. Now, the only thing you're trying to get the other person to do is talk about it."