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February 13, 2014
One question that we get from partners and friends of gamblers is - how do I broach the subject with them? Often they are anticipating a response of anger or denial. They don't want to embarrass or upset the person, but can see that they are clearly struggling.
Our advice would be to try and approach the person in a non-judgemental way. When any of us has an issue - whether it is with our health, work, relationships, or finances - the last thing we are willing to hear is criticism. Often that approach will fall on deaf ears or get an explosive response.
A better way to start the conversation is to come from a place of concern - eg. 'I've noticed that you have seemed down lately, is everything okay?' That provides the person with an invitation to open up about what has been happening. Of course, some people will be determined to avoid that conversation so a stronger approach may be necessary. eg. 'I know that you've been having issues with gambling and I wanted to let you know I'm worried about how it is affecting you'.
Unfortunately someone deep in a gambling problem may not be ready to start the conversation about getting help, so it may have to be the partner or friend who does this. What are some of your experiences or advice about how to best approach someone with this issue?
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