So, let's say your spouse/brother/sister/son/daughter came to you and explained that they are addicted to smoking cigarettes, however after a recent doctor's visit it has came their attention that smoking is literally physically killing them. Not only is it killing them, but there has been some significant health problems with their spouse and children due to smoking around them. This is a topic that most non smokers get very wound up about. But, let's say this person that you love has came to you for help. They have said look if I don't make changes not only will I destroy my health but my spouse and children's lives will be destroyed as well. Except I am not strong enough to stop on my own.
In this request for help your loved one explains that they have sought the help of a counselor who is helping your loved one make changes slowly and teaching your loved one to deal with the stress that causes them to want to light up. During this counseling it comes to light that the biggest reason your loved one struggles to lay down the cigarettes is because their entire life, they have felt that their family was simply to fragile to hear the things that stress them out. Not that your loved one's beliefs were accurate, it was clearly a misconception on their part. But for some reason this loved one thought you and everyone around them was simply unable to hear anything upsetting. Therefor, at a young age this loved one started smoking and using this as an outlet for their stress.
How would you react? Would you assure your loved one they can in fact be open and honest about the things that upset them, which would help to remove their need to smoke? What if their open honest feelings where hurtful to you? Would you rather hear this person say "hey what you just did stressed me out" or would you rather they say nothing and have a cigarette instead?
What if your loved one said, look I know this is your favorite food in the whole world, but every time I eat this food it triggers very strong cravings for a cigarette. Would you eat that food in front of your loved one? Or would you support them in their struggle to stop smoking and only eat that food when they were not there to see it?
I don't think that it is possible to pick and choose, and be supportive when it suits you. You are either supportive or you say "sorry I can't help you with this" and move on.
Most people, especially those non-smokers that truly do love your loved one will avoid triggering the stress that causes your loved one to light up. Would you give up having your favorite food in front of your loved one for a life time if that meant that they never smoked again?
So what if your loved one was addicted to social media? Cyber Sex and manipulating those around them? What if what your loved one needed from you was for you to hear them when you have hurt or upset them? What if your loved one said " every time I open up the internet, I am triggered by what I see and am strongly tempted to return to my addiction? What if your loved one realized they were replacing their addiction with social media, even non sexual social media? Would you support them in their need to refrain from social media, even if that meant not using social media to socialize with them?
I don't understand why people are so willing to give their self to help a loved one who is trying to stop smoking, stop using drugs, fight cancer or beat an devastating disease, but yet when a therapist says to a loved one, that if they really want to beat their addiction then they must start telling people how you feel about things, stop holding in how you feel about stuff , stay off of social media and be really honest about their feelings; Why then is it impossible to be supportive.
Even more so, if you see that this keeping your feelings locked away and unspoken has destroyed the life of this person that you claim to love. Destroyed their life and the lives of everyone around them, why on earth would you ask them to not tell you how they feel. Is getting your feelings a little hurt more important than facing the reality that the unspoken pain of this person is killing them? I just don't get it and I never will......