Do This, Not That If Someone You’re Trying To Help Slips

Sunday, November 25, 2012

A piece of paper with the words Think Positively written on it

Quitting smoking isn’t easy. There’s a chance your friend or loved one will slip at some point and smoke a cigarette.

Here are examples of ways you could respond to a slip:

  • “Slips happen. Don’t beat yourself up over it! Like anything tough, you learn as you go. Use right now as a time to restart and get back on track.”

  • “So you slipped. Quitting isn’t easy, and many people need several tries before they quit for good. You got this, and I’m here for you.”

  • “We all slip sometimes. Let’s talk about what’s triggering you to smoke. That will help you stay on track this time. Just don’t smoke that next cigarette.”

If she does slip, do NOT do the following:

  • Get upset (she’ll probably feel guilty enough)

  • Nag her about why smoking is bad

  • Police her by counting the number of cigarettes she smoked

  • Ask her if she smoked today

It’s important to focus on all that she has accomplished and remind her that a slip is just one bump in the road. Quitting is a learning process. So help her figure out what triggered the craving that led to her slip and come up with a plan for dealing with the craving if it happens again.

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