In substance abuse counseling and couples counseling, one of the most common issues is complacency. This can wreak havoc in peoples’ lives, and largely goes unnoticed as an issue. People get overconfident, or just ignore specific important signals and cues in their daily lives. There are ways of combating this however, and this article will discuss these.

Many people who come into counseling are largely influenced to do so by external factors. Therefore to comply with these external factors, individuals will analyze and often make fast, dramatic changes to appease others. This could be a spouse or partner, the law, or family and friends. The problem comes after the external threat passes. Usually the change from the high anxiety of losing something to complacency is gradual. Because it is so gradual and not deliberate, it is tricky to notice altogether. Unfortunately, before the person knows it, he is back into trouble again, and the cycle continues.

Complacency in relationships is different, but a significant problem as well. People often fail to notice the preferences and desires of the other person. One person may forget to pay attention to the subtleties that were the primary focus early on in the relationship. This can cause intimacy problems because the other person may then feel ignored or under-appreciated.

People can combat complacency by routinely thinking about goals. The opposite of complacency is apathy and ignorance. Therefore, when you think about what you have, what you want, and what you have to do to get what you want, you can help to overcome complacency. It helps to analyze your goals and frequently reassess what is important in your life. You further practice this skill by taking a daily inventory to assess your progress towards reaching your goals. This inventory is more of an intrinsic one, rather than a inventory of actual items. Each day you can assess what you accomplished and create a plan so that you can have a better chance of reaching your goals in the future.

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