5 Healthy Ways to Deal With Toxic People at Alcohol Anonymous Meetings

When you’re a recovering addict, having a positive attitude about sobriety is key to overcoming temptation and the need to drink. Sometimes, even in safe, supportive environments such as Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, you might come across toxic people who have negative opinions about AA, and about sobriety in general. While these individuals may simply be trying to overcome their own problems, their negativity can really end up ruining the experience for other AA members.

If you or someone you care about is struggling with addiction, understand that help is available and nearby. Call our 24/7 confidential helpline at 800-839-1686 to consult with an addiction treatment counselor about your options for alcohol rehab and AA meetings.

Don’t allow toxic people to interfere with your own recovery and AA experience! Here are five ways to deal with negative, toxic people when going to AA meetings.

1. Offer to Listen

Deal With Toxic People

A person could be negative simply because they need someone to listen.

People who are feeling angry, negative, or having a bad day may just need to express themselves, and choose AA meetings as an outlet. Perhaps they haven’t had a chance to talk to anyone all day, or just want to share their problems with other recovering addicts. Plus, some individuals feel that talking about their problems is highly therapeutic.

When facing toxic people at AA, offer to lend an ear and listen to their problems. Sometimes, listening to someone is all you have to do to make them feel better.

2. Walk Away

Facing your own struggles with addiction can be difficult enough, and allowing another person to project their negativity onto you can be detrimental to your own progress. If you don’t have the emotional or mental energy to deal with a toxic person, just walk away and separate yourself from the situation. Your own recovery and livelihood should always come first.

3. Point Out They’re Affecting Others

Consider pulling toxic people aside to kindly point out that their negativity is affecting other AA members. Sometimes, these individuals may not be aware they’re having a negative impact on other people. You may also want to remind this person that other AA members are there to focus on recovery, and may not benefit from hearing negative remarks.

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4. Help Them Out

Try to find out why certain toxic individuals are acting toxic to begin with. Are they struggling with alcohol cravings? Are they having a particularly bad day? If so, find out how you can help your fellow AA members overcome their problems and improve their negative outlooks.

5. Be Friendly and Supportive

Though you may not feel up to being friendly with someone who’s being highly toxic and negative, sometimes smiling and saying a few kind words goes a long way. Remember that everyone at AA is in recovery and faces their own personal struggles with overcoming addiction. Showing toxic people that you can still be friendly and supportive even on their worst days is a great way to represent AA, and help AA members stay straight on the path to sobriety.

If you have a drinking problem or think you might have a problem, understand you don’t have to overcome addiction on your own. Call our 24/7 confidential helpline at 800-839-1686 to speak with an addiction treatment counselor about nearby Alcohol Anonymous meetings and rehab centers that can help.

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If you're seeking addiction treatment for yourself or a loved one, the AlcoholicsAnonymous.com helpline offers a convenient and private solution to assist you. Our caring treatment advisors are ready to take your call anytime, day or night. Calls are answered 24/7 to discuss treatment and recovery options.

Your call is routed to a general helpline call center where caring admissions coordinators can help you decide what treatment option is right for yourself or for your loved one. Our helpline is NOT affiliated with Alcoholics Anonymous/AA nor does AA sponsor the treatment options that are recommended when you call.

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