There are various skills you can learn and adapt during the process of recovery. Interpersonal skills are often overlooked. However, they can help your success in sobriety maintenance and recovery overall. As we look at interpersonal skills, you can see how much these skills can contribute to your overall success.

What Are Interpersonal Skills?

You have likely already begun to develop your interpersonal skills, even if you haven’t realized they fall into this specific category. Interpersonal skills are skills used when dealing with conversations or relationships with other people. While these skills can be applied in a group setting, they often are primarily practiced in one-on-one interactions.

Engaging in effective communication is a huge part of interpersonal skills. Ensuring you are communicating efficiently can help you get your point across in a respectful manner that is appropriate to the situation.

How Do Interpersonal Skills Affect Recovery?

Interpersonal skills are essential in the recovery process. While the importance of communication skills is often stressed, interpersonal skills can be overlooked at times. Having these skills can provide many benefits to your success in recovery. 

Strengthen Your Relationships

By having strong interpersonal skills, you can create and establish healthy relationships. Having healthy communication and interpersonal skills increases the likelihood of individuals wanting to be around you. It also helps them feel mutually supported within the relationship.

Relationships are important to build to improve your support system. You never know when a moment of hardship will arise, and you will need the relationships created from interpersonal skills to move past an obstacle. Your skills can also be used to help others through a crisis in recovery.

Increase Professionalism

Interpersonal skills are not only for talking with your friends, family members, or strangers. They can also be applied in professional conversations. These skills can be used to appropriately convey your emotions to your treatment team and other professionals you are working with in recovery. Using these skills, you can establish a healthy working relationship with those who are helping you create a plan for your success.

These skills can also be used when communicating with coworkers, employers, or professors. When talking with an authority figure, it can be easy to feel nervous. Using these skills can help you to address these professional conversations ethically and effectively. Having these skills may help you to get a promotion, a job, or a good grade. The benefits of strong interpersonal skills can help you in all areas of life. 

Improve Interpersonal Skills

There are many effective ways to improve your interpersonal skills. Try each of these techniques to discover which ones work most effectively for you. Remember: developing skills takes time and practice. It may not feel natural at first, but that’s okay! Focus on being fully present and improving in the moment.

Conscious Efforts

Addressing your current skill level regarding interpersonal skills is important when working to improve these skills. You likely will be looking for some form of improvement on the current skills you have. Discuss potential skills you can use in frequent situations with your treatment team and consciously apply them. When you have an opportunity to use one of these skills, think about how you will apply it. Then, use it to strengthen the conversation.

Consciously thinking about implementing them helps these actions to become natural. When working to overcome negative thought patterns, you need to consciously be aware of the negative thought patterns that arise. Then, you can implement positive thoughts in their place.

Interpersonal skills work in similar ways. When you notice yourself engaging with someone in an undesired way, quickly correct that behavior by implementing one of these skills. Over time, using these skills will become a natural way of engaging with others.

Acknowledge Others

When communicating with others in a one-on-one situation, acknowledging their statements and emotions is essential. In group settings, you can often get away with a lack of attention. However, when you are the only one listening, your undivided attention is expected.

Whatever your conversation is about, ensure you show that you are listening and engaged in the conversation. Don’t allow the conversation to be all about you. Ensure you take an interest in their statements and ask questions to follow up throughout the conversation.

Encourage Empathy

Showing empathy in conversations with others can also go a long way. Empathy demonstrates that you are invested in the conversation. When others express moments of hardship, don’t jump to a sympathetic response such as “I’m sorry.” Instead, try to understand how they feel on a deeper level.

Address that you understand how they may be frustrated and remind them that you are there to support them if they ever need it. This creates a safe space in the relationship to seek advice from one another and support each other.

Interpersonal skills are vital to your recovery. By developing these skills, you can strengthen the relationships within your support system and increase your levels of professionalism. Interpersonal skills provide you with benefits not only for recovery but for other areas of your life as well. Developing these skills can be difficult at first. Being conscious of your actions and thought processes is a great way to start improving your interpersonal skills. Ensure you engage in active listening and acknowledge the statements and feelings of others that you are communicating with. To learn more about interpersonal communication, the benefits it can provide, and how to implement these skills, reach out to Dream Recovery at (657) 216-7218.

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