AA meetings or meetings conducted by Alcoholics Anonymous have helped countless people with alcohol addiction, over the years. While most are aware of what to expect from such a meeting, what we stress about is how to present ourselves in them! Especially when you meet for the first time, you are actually thrown in among a bunch of unknown people! So, how exactly, are you expected to behave? What would be the best way to conduct yourself?
Knowing a little about the preferred norms for these meetings will help in familiarizing you better with the traditions of these meetings. We provide some guidelines here that may be of help.
Tips for Proper Behavior in an AA Meeting
Always Address the Group: When you communicate, make sure you always address the group, instead of directing your conversation towards one person. Make eye contact with every person in the group so that there is a sense of inclusiveness all around. This way, the whole group will feel involved. Communication channels are likely to develop better when you connect more on a personal level with each group member.
Avoid Cutting People Short: Once you have spoken, it’s time to be a good listener. Never cut people short. Remember, every member has mustered up the courage to speak about their personal challenges. And, they deserve to be heard. If you have questions, wait for the person to complete his turn. Seek permission to put forth a query. Only then, ask your question.
Use the First Person Always: Your problem is essentially your own. Every case of alcoholism is different and generalizing is problematic. Therefore, always use the first person or “I” while discussing your issues at the meeting. Never say “you” or even “we”.
Double-Dipping should be avoided: Any AA meeting in Colorado you choose will run for a stipulated period of time. Going overboard is generally not encouraged. You should therefore speak only once during the course of a single meeting. This will allow other members time to express their concerns. Everyone should feel that they have the scope to participate. Once everyone has had their turn, you are free to take a double-dip. It is important to remember that this is a support group. Interpersonal group dynamics is therefore extremely important.
Do not leave your seat Too Often: Try not to leave your seat once the meeting has begun. If you need a smoke break or a cup of coffee or even a trip to the restroom, complete everything before the meeting starts. Look for an “AA meeting near me” and choose one that’s close by so that you do not have to travel distances to reach the venue. That way, everything can be taken care of at home, before you leave. And, if you must still get up, wait for the person to get over with his speech and then excuse yourself. Never leave when someone is speaking!
Conducting yourself well at these Alcoholics Anonymous meetings will help in improving your scores on the sobriety calculator. You just need to have an intention to keep going till the desired levels of abstinence have been reached.