Effective Communication in Sobriety: A Journey Toward Understanding


Improving communication is a cornerstone of our shared journey on this website. Whether in meetings, with fellow AA members, or in broader settings, delivering a clear message enriches all involved. Remember, this encompasses both verbal and written expressions.

The Beauty in Authentic Communication

True communication can sometimes be a journey in itself. Often, as we articulate our feelings, our message becomes clearer even to us. It’s common to see such genuine expressions during meetings. While not every AA member needs to become a master orator, every voice is valuable.

The Path to Enhancement

Let’s embark on refining our communication styles, focusing on being constructive and understanding. Our words should be a welcoming beacon for newcomers, ensuring they feel supported and heard.

Embracing Growth and Evolution

Change can be daunting, and some seasoned members might find the focus on evolving language a tad too much. They might reminisce, “Back in my days, the message was straight to the point!” Such reflections are natural. But times change, and so should our approach to ensure relevance.

The Power of Words: Bridging Understandings

Awareness is the foundation. Words like God, Higher Power, spirituality, and others can be highly charged. Their meanings have evolved over the years. For instance, today’s understanding of “meditation” differs vastly from its 1939 interpretation. Our aim? To be sensitive and adapt our language to ensure no one feels excluded.

Navigating Potential Roadblocks

A rigid approach might deter newcomers from exploring the beauty of AA. Rather than sticking strictly to traditional methods or quoting verbatim from texts, a compassionate and personalized touch can make all the difference. Remember, many newcomers are seeking solace and understanding.

Redefining Traditional Views

Yes, some stalwarts might believe in the undiluted, raw message. However, isn’t the ultimate goal to provide a nurturing environment for everyone? Let’s embrace change and continue the legacy of AA in the most inclusive manner.

Addressing Ego and Humility

Falling into the trap of ‘Big-Shot-ism’ can be easy. But as Bill W. emphasized, humility is a virtue. No one holds the ultimate wisdom in AA. Our collective experiences and humility drive the community forward.

Mastering the Art of Compassionate Communication

To magnify the impact of your words in meetings or personal conversations, consider these communication guidelines:

  1. Reflect before articulating.
  2. Be concise and clear.
  3. Stay anchored to your core message.
  4. Share relevant experiences.
  5. Offer insights rather than directives.
  6. Speak from your perspective, using “I” statements.
  7. Use relatable examples to make a point.
  8. Approach potentially sensitive terms with care.
  9. Emphasize understanding, compassion, and the dedicated effort that AA embodies.

Together, let’s journey toward a more inclusive and understanding AA community.