strategies for sharing at meetings

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strategies for sharing at meetings

Postby shaunagus » Wed Feb 26, 2014 7:26 am

Hi All

I am sure some of you will be thinking 'strategies for sharing? just open your mouth and speak'.

I speak in public all the time, it's part of my job and not an issue.

But sharing in meetings terrifies me, and sharing in my home group terrifies me more than any other -- and its starting to piss me off! It's not a general confidence thing as I am confident in other situations. Maybe it's a vanity things, wantin to be liked, a humility thing (ie lack of). Who knows.

One of the meetings I go to is a round robin meeting, so everyone pretty much has to share and i do at that meeting. At another meeting i share maybe every other week. But its always terrifying.

Its easy here - only one person knows me in real life and he knowws the worst of me anyways so if I bore on or make a tit of myself, or if I am patronising or deluded it doesnt matter. People just stop reading.

So are there any other people who have had to employ a strategy to be able to share? a technique other than just 'open your mouth and share'.

Some ideas have come to me as I am writing this, and I think just writing it out even if no-one reads or responds helps in any case but any suggestions welcome. Ironically, I can't attend my home group for the next two weeks because I will be away with work.

Cheers

Shaun
Last edited by shaunagus on Wed Feb 26, 2014 9:48 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: strategies for sharing at meetings

Postby Layne » Wed Feb 26, 2014 7:36 am

Open your heart and share. That is where the ESH resides.
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Re: strategies for sharing at meetings

Postby chefchip » Wed Feb 26, 2014 7:48 am

What Layne said... :wink:

Shaun, I tend to overthink everything. Pardon me for saying that you might be doing the same thing. No matter what anyone says sharing is going to be scary to you until you have done it for a while. Seems to me that not drinking was also scary to you (and me) until you had done it for a while. Why should this be any different!

My home group quite often uses the ticket method of sharing -- we get a ticket if we want and, if our number is called, we can pass or share as we see fit. The group has well over 100 people attending on a regular basis, lots of them new people, so it helps keep things fresh and keeps us old-timers :lol: from monopolizing things. The times when my shares have been well received have been interesting because they were usually the times I did not expect my number to be called. So I didn't spend 30 minutes coming up with the perfect share in my head -- you know, the share that would instantaneously make everyone within hearing distance sober and sane for the rest of their lives, like me. :roll:

My advice? Quit overthinking this. It's not as hard or as scary as you have made it out to be in your head. Or is it? :mrgreen: :twisted: :evil:

Chip
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Re: strategies for sharing at meetings

Postby shaunagus » Wed Feb 26, 2014 7:53 am

chefchip wrote:What Layne said... :wink:

Shaun, I tend to overthink everything. Pardon me for saying that you might be doing the same thing. No matter what anyone says sharing is going to be scary to you until you have done it for a while.......My advice? Quit overthinking this. It's not as hard or as scary as you have made it out to be in your head. Or is it? :mrgreen: :twisted: :evil:

Chip


See, now I thought I had burned enough incense, worn enough patchouli oil and done enough meditation (I have done 8 days straight meditating!) to have transcended my crazy, earthling brain. You know, I even wore tie-dye in the 90s, thats how spritually advanced I should be by now. Sheesh.

My name is Shaun, I am a thinkaholic :P
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Re: strategies for sharing at meetings

Postby Brock » Wed Feb 26, 2014 10:45 am

I agree that overthinking the process is a trait most of us have or had, and this caused me in the past to miss a lot of what other people were saying. Tosh said a while ago, that in the beginning he was either planning what he would say if asked, or going over in his mind what he should have said after he was asked, or words to that effect. Of course my ego said at first not me I don’t do that, but “kept an eye on myself” at meetings after, and realized that was exactly what I was doing. I also went through a stage of thinking up funny antidotes before going to a meeting, there always seems to be at least one comedian at every meeting, and for a while I was it, but I didn’t learn much about AA that way. With experience, and not just the experience of time, the experience of listening to others, reading things here and elsewhere, really studying the program, I have gained in confidence to speak on most AA related matters. Before alcohol completely took over my life, I was into a potentially dangerous sport, and not enjoying it in the beginning because I was always scared and on edge, an experienced person encouraged me by saying we are only scared when we aren’t sure in what we are doing, this proved true for the sport, and true for AA.

In my area there is one person everyone in the program looks up to, both for the endless hours he puts in furthering the AA cause, and also for the depth of knowledge he possesses. In paying close attention to his style of speaking, I have recently learned an important lesson. While we in the group, would busy ourselves speaking what we imagined were great things, of importance to all, when his turn would come, he would often pick up on something usually a relative newcomer might have said, and very diplomatically educate the newcomer and others where they were going wrong. He seems to look for the weakest link, and strengthen it with his contribution, which is something worth emulating. This is an interesting topic Shaun, thanks for starting it.

Brock.
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Re: strategies for sharing at meetings

Postby KathyAnne » Wed Feb 26, 2014 11:10 am

Hi there I have suffererd with nerves a lot in meetings it's awful but it's me doing it to myself. I'm a sociable person and will talk to anybody but put me in a meeting and I clam up big time. I have even shared on how I feel and people came up afterwards and said they felt the same which was reassuring I know I have to continue with it and hopefully over time it will lessen. My sponser says it's worrying what others think and making myself vulnerable by opening up is scary a lot of people don't do it, its ego I suppose, I think she's spot on. I'm very hard on myself but constantly tell myself to talk from the heart say it as it is and stop taking myself so seriously!
I see people who never talk and I used to think its alright for you I wish I could just sit there and not say anything. But then I found that sometimes those who never share haven't got good recovery! Most people completely forget what they've heard as soon as they leave, someone once said to me do you really think there thinking about what you said Kathy, there probably wondering what to have for tea tonight, I loved that.
The only strategies I think is to keep coming back, keep sharing, stop worrying what others think and lighten up!
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Re: strategies for sharing at meetings

Postby shaunagus » Wed Feb 26, 2014 12:30 pm

Yeah, in regret even starting the thread now. I just need to man up and do it - and stop thinking every little neurosis is worthy of a thread on here. I need to filter more.

Cheers for the responses.

Shaun
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Re: strategies for sharing at meetings

Postby TonyWARMS » Wed Feb 26, 2014 12:48 pm

Hi, Shaun
You nailed it, friend.
Thinkaholic.
I used to worry that I didn't know what these people at meetings were talking about. I can't add anything.
Nothing coming out of my mouth is going to cause these people to carry me out of the room on there shoulders. Or, buy me a cake :wink: :) .

I mentioned my concern to someone with fairly substantial sobriety, and was told, it is not about you when you share.
Shocking to hear. What do you mean it's not about me? EVERYTHING IS ABOUT ME!!
No, it is about passing it on, as it applies to me, in hope that others whom haven't made the same mistakes, think before they do.
Not all thinking is bad. More like misguided thinking, at which everyone I have ever encountered, either in the rooms, or not, is an expert.

Peace, Tony
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(I don't know where I heard this)
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Re: strategies for sharing at meetings

Postby Layne » Wed Feb 26, 2014 12:52 pm

Whatever is rumbling around in our craniums is worthy of a thread on here. It is how we get useful feedback and even if the original poster gets nothing out of it, someone else might. At least we know that we are not alone and that other people have the same rumblings.
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Re: strategies for sharing at meetings

Postby Duke » Wed Feb 26, 2014 2:22 pm

For what it's worth, I had a lot of anxiety about sharing at first. At about three months sober, my sponsor volunteered me to run a 12 x 12 meeting once a week. Problem gone. Hang in there, it will get better.
"If you are humble nothing will touch you, neither praise nor disgrace, because you know what you are.", Mother Teresa
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Re: strategies for sharing at meetings

Postby zieger34 » Wed Feb 26, 2014 3:39 pm

Quite a timely topic for myself as last night I went to my first f2f meeting. I live in a small town so there were only 8 people there (although I don't know if that is a typical size for a f2f or not). Everyone shared as we went around the table and as the "chair" called my name asking if I had a share, which I had no idea she would, I couldn't do it. I had used up all my courage just walking into the room introducing myself and asking if I was in the right place. Not to mention trying to hold back tears (not always successfully) when anyone would mention how happy they were to have a newcomer there or when their stories touched my heart. Anyhoo my ride home was full of shares but only to an empty car and my HP whom I'm sure was lurking about. Reading your posts has shown me there is no pressure and if I speak from the heart and with the right motivation the words will come.
Florence

PS I'm so happy I went this stuff is so amazing :D
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Re: strategies for sharing at meetings

Postby Layne » Wed Feb 26, 2014 5:28 pm

Thanks for your share Florence, you have helped me more than you know! Congrats on your first meeting, a step of courage that I well remember. Keep coming back!
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Re: strategies for sharing at meetings

Postby gonzo » Wed Feb 26, 2014 9:56 pm

zieger34 wrote:I live in a small town so there were only 8 people there (although I don't know if that is a typical size for a f2f or not).
Hi Florence, awesome that you went to your 1st mtg! I go to 2 different small meetings during the week each of which has only about 5-10 people max (sometimes smaller!), but the other meetings I attend are larger, a couple of them 15-25 normally and my homegroup is the largest (about 40-50 normally).
Anyway Shaun, I also for some weird reason have had at times strong anxiety about sharing at my homegroup, sometimes because it's big, sometimes because I think people I know are going to think weird things about what I say, or random attendees will judge me, but it's all "I, I, I" in my mind, and like what was already said, "it ain't about me" when I share. Like Duke said, I had an experience where in different group, I was "offered" the role of running a 12X12 meeting (and I still do now after 6 months), so that kind of forces my hand in a good way; and in the tiny meetings I kinda have to share but somehow I feel the intimacy helps. No strategy, but I kind of force myself to speak especially when I don't want to because I don't want to be 'up in their with my own junk'. When I feel I need to share but don't get the chance during a meeting I just run my yap afterward to anyone who will listen, and get it out of me.
p.s. Flo,
my HP whom I'm sure was lurking about.
my HP stopped lurking once I invited him in :wink:
Chris M.
a.k.a. gonzo, alcoholic math nerd
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Re: strategies for sharing at meetings

Postby kenyal » Wed Feb 26, 2014 10:15 pm

Shaun, think back to your last meeting, to the 3rd person that shared...what did they say? And what did the next to the last person say? What did anyone say?

That's how vital and lasting what you may say in a meeting is. Just tell the truth and let the cards fall where they may.
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Re: strategies for sharing at meetings

Postby shaunagus » Thu Feb 27, 2014 4:18 am

Thanks everyone.

I do remember bits of what most people shared, not all though, that's true.

I think what might be inhibiting me is when I joined e-AA there were a couple of threads criticising people's shares in meetings, slagging people off for being boring, cliched, just last wek someone was sharing about someone who bores on about the same stuff every week. And there was someone when I joined e-AA whose every other post was "there are lots of people in AA who aren't real alcoholics" and that made me paranoid because I don't have any "had my kids taken off me" or "drank two litres of whiskey and woke up with a dead prostitute in my bed" stories.

I think somewhere early on I "internalised" the messages that what I share will be held up to scrutiny and Expletive about and so find it hard to believe when people say "don't worry no one will judge you, remember you etc".

In reality that was just one or two people and the vast majority are the complete opposite. In fact the people at my meetings seem at pains to be the opposite of that, as do most here.

Thanks this is all helping.

Shaun
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