Talking to someone you love about their gambling can be difficult – you do not want
them to be angry or feel betrayed, but you do want to let them know you are concerned.
Knowing how to start can help you find the courage to have the conversation.
We recommend the following steps.
- Be conversational and not confrontational. When confronted, people tend to feel backed
into a corner and not likely to consider the benefits of making changes.
- Let the person know you care. Be supportive, not judgmental.
- Listen. We are all more likely to hear something if we feel like we have been heard.
So listen. Don't tell. When they are listened to, people are more willing to admit
their mistakes or problems.
- Always consider giving information. You will have time to advise someone, but wait
until they ask for it. Until asked for your advice, try just giving information.
- Help them understand that you are concerned because you care. Be specific about the
actions that concern you.
- Ask them if talking to someone about their gambling might help, and offer to help
them get in touch with these resources. The goal is to help them realize that changing
their gambling habits would be for the better.
First, be informed. Before starting a discussion, learn about problem gambling and
the resources available by visiting this site and/or contacting us, calling the State
of Tennessee Redline (800-889-9789), the National Gambling Hotline (800-522-4700)
or contacting Gamblers Anonymous. If you would like more information, you can give
us a call at 901-678-STOP or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.