This is a guideline of how we share and how we behave at a meeting. Please read this through. This is especially important to newcomers. This is 12 step Culture, and we respect this in our meeting formats. Thank you.
As one of the guiding principles of 12-step programs, anonymity protects not only the participants at the meeting but also the 12-step program as a whole. Never share with someone that another person is in a meeting you attend without their consent.
It is important to address the group when sharing, rather than addressing another person after they share with the group. When shares are directed to the group, everyone can benefit from the message being discussed, and no individual is singled out.
Use “I” Statements when Sharing
In general, it is suggested to limit your sharing to your own personal experiences by using “I” statements, rather than “you.”
Unless time permits and there is no one else sharing, it is typically advised to only share once at each meeting to allow other members time to express themselves and share as well. It is important that everyone feels they have the ability to participate in the meeting, and this helps create openness.
Limit The Number Of Times You Leave Your Seat
Try to get your coffee, final smoke break, and last run to the restroom prior to the meeting starting in order to prevent disrupting the meeting by getting up while someone is sharing. If you absolutely must get up and leave your seat, be sure to wait until the person sharing finishes prior to getting up.
Arrive 15 Minutes Early, And Stay 15 Minutes After
An important component of 12-step meetings is fellowship. Arriving 15 minutes prior to the meeting beginning allows for time to converse and get to know other members of the group. Staying 15 minutes after the meeting allows for time to further converse and develop new relationships.
Sharing in a meeting can be intimidating and anxiety-inducing for many people. When people are chattering or having side conversations while someone is sharing, it can be very distracting and even hurtful to the person sharing. It can also distract other peers from listening. Do your best to sit quietly and listen to respect your peers while they share.
Stick To The Meeting Topic
It is generally best practice to stay focused on the meeting topic when sharing. Some groups may offer the opportunity to share at the beginning or end of a meeting if someone is having a “burning desire” or a pertinent need to share due to having cravings to use or something pressing they feel they need to share.