My Friend is That Guy
If you’re worried about a friend or loved one, the best thing you can do for them is to take action right away.
How do I know if my friend or family member needs help or if they are That Guy?
Here are some important alcohol warning signs to watch for:
- Neglecting major work or family responsibilities
- Missing work, poor performance reviews and/or disciplinary actions
- Getting drunk regularly
- Lying about how much he/she is drinking
- Believing that alcohol is necessary to have fun
- Having frequent hangovers
- Having blackouts
- Getting in trouble with the law because of drinking
- Changing moods, such as temper flare-ups, irritability or defensiveness
- Becoming That Guy
Keep reading to get the facts and learn more about how you can help.
Taking Action: A How-To Guide
Talking to a friend or family member about his drinking is not easy, but it’s the right thing to do. Here’s some advice:
Step 1: Prepare
Get educated about the serious risks and consequences of binge drinking. Review this Web site and others for more information. Think carefully about your concerns and what you want to say. Be prepared to offer specific examples of how his/her drinking has affected you or your family, the person’s career or health. Practice the conversation in advance. It will help you stay focused and anticipate issues that might come up. You should also gather information and be prepared to offer help.
Step 2: Have the Conversation
Now here’s the hard part. Sometimes it helps to have the conversation shortly after an alcohol-related problem
has occurred, such as an argument or trouble at work.
Give an example of when this person has become That Guy. Be supportive. Tell him/her what you want him/her to do, whether it’s cutting down on binge drinking or entering a treatment program. Be loving and kind. Stay calm and remain supportive even if he gets defensive.
Tell your friend:
- You love and care about him/her
- You want him/her to be part of the solution
- How his/her drinking makes you feel
- What you will do to help
Step 3: Get Support
If appropriate, you may want to involve trusted friends or other family members. You can also consult with your health care provider, a professional counselor, chaplain or a support group to gather information and advice.
Step 4: Seek Help
It’s important for the person to see a health care provider or other professional to evaluate the seriousness of the problem. In some cases, he/she may just need to cut back on drinking. In others, counseling or treatment may be needed. For more information on finding a treatment center near you, click here.
Tips for Cutting Back
If the person needs to cut down on drinking, you can support him/her by providing healthy alternatives and by working together to practice moderation.
You should also share these important tips to help them cut back:
- Set limits and stick to them
- Keep alcohol out of your home
- Drink slowly on a full stomach
- Stick to one drink per hour or less
- Take regular breaks from drinking
- Learn how to say no
- Stay active and find other interests
- Get support from family and friends