We often hear from people accessing our services, that as gambling affected their life more and more, their relationships suffered.
Reconnecting with people in your life is important - research shows individuals with supportive and rewarding relationships have better mental health. Therefore, as you work towards changing your gambling it is also important to reconnect and rebuild the relationships you may have neglected.
A strong relationship means you are connected with someone and can share your emotions, triumphs, setbacks and dreams. Strong connections in your life can help you feel more fulfilled and happy, making it easier to stay strong while changing your gambling.
So why delay? Reach out and reconnect with someone today.
Here are some strategies to help you get started:
- Reach out casually and say hello to the person you want to reconnect with.
- If you are concerned about seeing them in person call or email someone to begin the conversation
- Once you commit to getting together act immediately and make plans.
- Be specific about what days you can meet and settle on the details.
- Meet for a walk, coffee or do something that you both enjoy.
- Follow through on plans, you may feel nervous but this is normal.
- Be honest and reliable. For example, if you’re running late make an effort to call them and let them know.
- If someone invites you out, go!
If you don’t get the response you hope for
Sometimes people don’t get the response they hope for. While this isn’t by any means a certainty, if it happens, take it as a learning opportunity. It may take some time to reconnect with some people, that’s ok just gradually try to repair your bond.
If you find they aren’t receptive over time, you may want to concentrate on reconciling with someone else instead, and perhaps they will contact to in the future.
It can also be a good time to start new relationships while you are on this journey. Where your friendships have been heavily linked to gambling it may be the right time to try and forge new relationships. Starting a new hobby can be particularly helpful for finding like-minded people.
When you finally meet
- If you believe you have something to apologise for, do so as soon as you can for example. "Hey, Michael, I'm really sorry about not being in touch for so long.”
- One of the best ways to show you respect someone is listening intently when they speak to you. When talking to the person be fully present and show the other person how important they are to you.
- Recall positive memories.
- If you feel comfortable share with them what you are working to achieve, people with strong bonds who have supportive people in their lives can find it easier to stay on track.
- Give them the opportunity to share what is happening with their lives. Conversations can’t just be one way and while your journey can feel very central to everything at the moment relationships thrive when people support each other.
Accepting support when needed, and being willing and able to provide support in return, helps develop caring relationships that enable people to flourish. So make time for people in your life, especially the ones that you love.
Be reassured that it’s normal when you begin to reconnect with people in your life that not everything can be resolved right there and then. Relationships can be strengthened when you are seen to be taking positive action such as seeking support but this can take time.