How has your loved one learned to socialize sober?



Any tips / tricks here? Has this been hard for other’s loved ones?


My son had a hard time with this for a while. Once he was able to engage in a community of people with similar interests he was able to connect on a much deeper level. He still struggles with social anxiety but he has learned that if he pushes through he thrives in social settings.


I don’t have a specific answer because I’m not actually sure HOW he’s learned or IF he’s learned - but dad used to be the life of the party (substance or not). However, since rehab & recovery, he’s tried his same funny guy routine in recovery to a less successful result. Now I see him being much more quiet and observant in social situations - seems like he’s reading the room better.


Important question!!
A lot of socializing with our friends seems to centre around alcohol (in fact - most socializing in our society does!) So for my boyfriend at this point, he has found it safer to avoid these situations… problem with that is that it can get lonely! And I want him to be a part of the social life we have built together.
Maybe the key is baby steps. Attending social situations sober but with the mentality that they do not have to stay long. Just enough (an hour or so) for a small win can help build confidence that socializing sober is possible!


Addiction often originates from someone’s attempt to solve a problem: the loss of connection being a major one of those problems. Substances are used as a “social lubricant” to help feel connected to peers, but that isn’t real meaningful connection.

In my clinical work, I have found that group therapy (this can be process groups, AA, SMART Recovery, other support networks) helps those in early recovery learn how to connect with others on an emotional and vulnerable level, without substances. I ran process groups and observed that my group members would come in (often within a week or so of beginning the program) and present a social situation that was coming up that they had anxiety about. With the help of the other group members feedback and support, a game plan was developed and the social anxiety was normalized. The ability to share with others and learn from them was really beneficial.

Baby steps indeed :slight_smile:


Yes! Baby steps. I think what I’ve realized is that we need to be way more conscious of it. I forget because he’s doing so well that these areas are so important to keep working on. It’s a lot easier to just avoid them! But yes, loneliness is the worst!!! @dori <3


Yes and no. She can 9/10 times but if everyone is drinking and she starts drinking she tends to fall back into old patterns, stealing from parties. Also she gets real emotional about her addiction which triggers her even more.


This has been difficult for my son. If things don’t come easily to him he tends to avoid them. I’ve provided him with all the possible resources for social networking and support but he won’t take the initiative. He works hard every day but doesn’t like his coworkers and since moving home hasn’t made an effort to make new friends. I’m hoping that once he’s more adjusted he will put himself out there more!