5 Signs Your Meeting Sucks
Need help? Call our 24/7 helpline. 855-933-3480

5 Signs Your Meeting Sucks


12-step meetings can be incredibly helpful for recovering addicts and alcoholics. The camaraderie, the focus on self-care and self-esteem and just having a dedicated space where you can go to be open about your life’s everyday struggles are just a few of the many benefits. Still, that doesn’t mean that every meeting is a good meeting. Um, far from it! Here are a few tipoffs on how to tell if your regular meeting sucks.

1) There’s too much crosstalk

Crosstalk has been historically “banned” from most AA meetings for good reason: because it’s annoying as fuck. Interrupting someone in mid-sentence or even just responding to them when they’re done sharing with a lame meaningless “OMG I soooooo relate” is cool, I guess. Or not. How about saving it for after the meeting? Go right on up to the person whose share you found interesting and say how much you dug it. I doubt they’ll mind, and you’ll help save the meeting from general assholery.

2) It’s a meat market

There are some meetings where…you just know. The moment you stride through the door, you can sense the churning vibe of cologne and desperation. The women are dolled up in heels and short skirts and crazy major makeup. The dudes are the opposite of decked out, in their usual lame dude-wear save for the cologne and the obvious scoping thing they’re doing with their eyes. If you feel more tempted to spend the entire meeting looking at people or playing footsie or flirty-face with that hot greaser guy across the aisle, stop. It’s a waste of time; you need a new meeting.

3) It’s too scene-y

Similar to above, some meetings may call themselves AA meetings. They may look like AA meetings, with all the usual trappings: the readings and shares; the rows of crazy-uncomfortable folding chairs; the Big Books scattered throughout the room; the burnt-coffee-maker; the stale $1 cookies from KMart; the smokers congregated outside. But what sets it apart from your average Joe-Schmo normal-person meeting is the people who are there: scenester types. Lots and lots of scenester types. You can spot them by their hip eyewear and twee fashion sense. If a meeting is drowning in hipsters, we suggest finding a new one. No one should have to experience hipster overload while trying to find serenity.

4) It’s too crowded

This one is kinda subjective, I suppose. See, I tend to prefer small groups over big ones. I don’t do well with crowds—they’re sensory overload for me, and I get anxious and overstimulated and I don’t know who to sit with or who to approach near the coffee stand and I start getting all weird and shy and insecure, like suddenly I am back in middle school again, waiting for someone to pick me for their soccer team. In any case, I don’t do huge meetings unless I’m feeling all brave and strong and shit. Make of this what you will, and take this advice or don’t.

5) It’s depressing

Sometimes it’s the room that seems to inspire an overall anti-joie de vivre. Sometimes it’s the people that gravitate toward such a room. Sometimes it’s the combination of the two. So if you find yourself hearing wholly uninspiring things—oftentimes in the form of complaints or a general negativity about recovery—consider finding another place to drink your coffee in a styrofoam cup. A bad attitude can be pervasive—and sometimes just as addictive as booze.

Any Questions? Call Now To Speak to a Rehab Specialist
(855) 933-3480

About Author

Laura Barcella is a documentary researcher, author, freelance writer and ghostwriter from Washington, DC. Her writing has also appeared in TIME, Marie Claire, Salon, Esquire, Elle, Refinery29, AlterNet, The Village Voice, Cosmopolitan, The Chicago Sun-Times, Time Out New York, BUST, ELLE Girl, NYLON and CNN.com. Her book credits include Know Your Rights: A Modern Kid's Guide to the American Constitution, Fight Like a Girl: 50 Feminists Who Changed the World, Popular: The Ups and Downs of Online Dating from the Most Popular Girl in New York City, Madonna & Me: Women Writers on the Queen of Pop and The End: 50 Apocalyptic Visions From Pop Culture That You Should Know About…Before It’s Too Late.