61. Managing Difficult Conversations – with Andrea Newton

Tribe Sober – inspiring an alcohol-free life!

My guest this week is Andrea Newton.

Andrea is a Corporate Consultant, Keynote Speaker,  Mental Health Advocate, and a Podcast Host.

Alcohol took Andrea to a dark place but thankfully she recovered and is now doing some very worthwhile work.

In this Episode

  • I found Andrea’s account of how alcohol made her feel suicidal as rather chilling – the fact that she actually had a plan to end her life – and her point that alcohol can provide that “Dutch Courage” to actually go through with it
  • These days Andrea works for the National Centre for Suicide Prevention Centre in the UK – she delivers a workshop that helps people to have crucial and difficult conversations – which can save lives
  • She explained that the risk of suicide is 8 times higher if alcohol is involved and that 20% of suicides in young people in the UK are alcohol-fuelled
  • We discussed the “work hard play hard” culture that pervades in so many companies –and the fact that you are sometimes perceived as “boring” if you don’t go for the weekly drinks with your colleagues
  • It can even have career implications as well – when was in my 20’s I worked for the BBC and I remember being given a nudge by my boss to go to the BBC Club more often as it was valuable for “networking”. So I did and it was there I discovered that drinking was an essential part of the networking!
  • I mentioned the book (and TED talk) Quiet by Susan Cain about introverts/extroverts. Introverts often use alcohol as a coping mechanism to help them manage the pressure of networking, entertaining clients – and of course, socializing. If you are an introvert then please read this book – it will be very good for your self-esteem. After all, we live in a society that often seems to favour extroverts
  • We talked about the difficulty of socializing in early sobriety and how it’s actually the drunk people rather than the sober ones who are the “boring” ones. I shared the tip from our Tribe Sober toolkit that it helps to “be an anthropologist”
  • We talked about the pandemic and the fact that working from home may have encouraged more people to rely on alcohol – and the fact that managers may have to deal with this issue when employees return to work
  • Which led us to discuss her consulting work which is based around 7 conversations – “difficult conversations” that many managers may struggle with. Andrea helps them to structure these conversations and offers them some very valuable training
  • It struck me that these “difficult conversations” are of course something that many of us have to deal with in our personal lives as well. The kind of conversation we may need to have with a family member who is drinking too much. I’m planning to ask Andrea to write a guest blog for our website on this subject
  • Do have a listen to Andrea’s podcast as there is so much helpful advice in there – advice about how to have difficult conversations in our work and our personal lives
  • To contact Andrea go to her website www.confidentconversations.co.uk and her podcast is Really Useful Conversations.

If you are listening to this podcast and are really feeling low or you know someone who is suicidal then please contact Andrea  – or you can email me at janet@tribesober and we’ll connect you to someone who can help.

More info

  • Subscription membership  – you can join up HERE
  • To access our website click HERE
  • If you would like a free copy of our “Annual Tracker” or our e-book “66 Days to Sobriety” please email janet@nulltribesober.com
  • If you would like to come to our Saturday afternoon Zoom Cafe as a guest and meet our community just email janet@nulltribesober.com

Episode Sponsor

This episode is sponsored by the Tribe Sober Membership Program.  If you want to change your relationship with alcohol then sign up today.

Read more about our program and subscribe HERE.

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Thank you for listening!

Till Next Week

Janet x

PS   How to leave a rating/review in Apple Podcasts (on an iOS device)

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The 11 Year Fact

Did you know that the average dependent drinker will struggle alone for 11 years before reaching out for help?

Don’t wait for 11 years – join Tribe Sober today!