A study on the role of social supports in recovery from Alcohol Treatment Quarterly states “general friendship is important for overall well-being” but can be especially necessary and beneficial to those in recovery. It is very helpful for recovering individuals to be visited by their friends, family, significant others, etc. at their treatment facility, but it can also be beneficial for them to make new friends in the rehab center. The process can be daunting, though, so here are a few tips that can help you make friends at your treatment facility more easily.
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Be Willing to Take the First Step
Many times, a person will wonder why no one is approaching them to initiate conversation or friendship while they are also unwilling to do the same. Therefore, if you believe it will be beneficial to you to make friends in rehab, you must be willing to take the first step and initiate some sort of contact.
A smile or a hello can often do well, as these are innocuous ways to start a conversation. If the person has something with them, like a book or a shirt you like, you can also comment on it to tell them so. It is usually a good idea to avoid serious subjects at first and to start off with a kind word or two in order to break the ice.
Attend Classes Within Treatment
By attending classes provided at your rehab, such as yoga, you’ll have the opportunity to make friends.
Many rehab centers, especially inpatient and residential facilities, provide classes for patients. These can range from focuses like yoga and exercise to nutrition, resume building, and other necessary life skills. If you attend the classes offered to you at your rehab center, you will be more likely to meet people and perhaps even get to know someone who is interested in the same things you are.
It is often said of individuals struggling with addiction that self-absorption is a common trait. It is important to avoid talking about yourself too much when making new friends and to remember to discuss how they are feeling as well. In addition, if you feel that you are always the one listening to the other person, you may be able to find a better friend in someone who is ready to build a real foundation and get to know you.
Remember the Purpose of Rehab
Making friends in rehab is often very beneficial, and it can help you feel more comfortable in your specific treatment facility. However, it is still necessary that you remember the purpose of rehab, which is to focus on your recovery and make a positive change in your life. You can search out friends, but don’t make this your main priority. Also remember that a friendship that makes you feel worse about yourself or isn’t conducive to your recovery is not the type of friendship you should ever have, but especially not at this time.
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