If you have a friend or family member who needs your support in changing a habit or behavior, try one of the following strategies for discussing the situation.
Explore reasons to change
Get the person to describe the best-case scenario if things change.
Ask permission to talk
People more likely will discuss changing when asked, rather than when told to change.
Bolster the person’s self-confidence
Confidence helps someone take action and follow through.
Reassure the person
Let the person know that plenty of other people have gone through the same issue.
Ask open-ended questions
Ask questions that can’t be answered with a yes or no response. Too many back-to-back closed- or dead-end questions can feel like an interrogation (e.g., how often do you get drunk?”). Open-ended questions encourage the other person to do most of the talking.
Praise the person’s commitment to change
Saying something positive makes them more confident they can change.
Point the person toward helping resources
If the person needs expert help in changing a behavior, Marine Corps Community Services offers various programs that can provide the required assistance. For more information, visit https://usmc-mccs.org/help/.
Conflict is a normal and healthy part of every relationship. Well-managed conflict can promote growth, intimacy, and trust in a relationship. Resources and services are available to help get your relationship back on track.
Military OneSource is a resource that is available 24/7 to service members and their families and provides access to “trusted information, resources and confidential help” with various aspects of military life.