Al-Anon Family Group

The material presented here is not Al-Anon Conference Approved Literature. It is a method to exchange information, ideas, feelings, problems and solutions on a personal level.

Members Login
    Remember Me  
Post Info TOPIC: Hope for Today Oct 31

~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 1034
Hope for Today Oct 31

Good morning everyone:

Todays reading is about the destructive nature in judging others. The writer describes having grown up in a family that communicated through teasing, criticism and jabs at one another. The writer developed a defense mechanism of sarcasm and ridiculing others. In general, the writer felt better about him/herself by knocking others down.  Over time the writer grew tired of this cycle and through program work focused on this character defect. 

Im sure it is no coincidence that I have now written several times about sarcasm.  In my big family there was always (what seemed like) good natured teasing and poking fun, but the result for me became preemptive strikes when I either was the provoker of jabs or thinking about my sarcastic response to them.  I continually work at examining this one; understanding how this affects myself and others is a big part of my work in progress.

The quotation from One Day at a Time in Al-Anon (p.20) is the perfect reminder:

I cannot hurt others without hurting myself.

I hope everyone enjoys a peaceful Sunday:)



Senior Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 147

Thank you Mary for your service and share. I've heard it said in Alanon that on the flip side of a defect is an asset. I've understood this to mean that if balanced, what seems to be a defect can turn to an asset. Before joining and working Alanon, my use of sarcasm, judgement and criticism of others was a way of trying to raise myself from feelings of low self worth.Whether I communicated these feelings or just let others take up space in my head with stinking thinking about them the result was the same. I used these mechanisms of stepping on others to boost myself. Gossip is one of our Alanon topics and when new to the program I made fast friends with others in recovery who like myself showed up to occupy a chair, socialize, have a cup and go home. After meetings we often gossiped about and criticized our alcoholics and others to one another. Whatever serenity I had gained from listening in the Alanon meeting was then gone. Despite feeling heard and understood, I returned home feeling agitated, resentful and hopeless. Resentment in particular was the reason for many sarcastic comments aimed at the alcoholics in my family. When we know better we do better and for me that meant deciding to take Alanon seriously and working the steps. I can't change my past but I can have a better present with the Alanon program as a way of life. Today I still judge others because it's human to do so. It's how I determine who feels safe, who I'd like to know more, how I feel around a person. All of these things afford an opportunity to look deeper into myself with step work and my higher power. I see sarcasm differently today because of self love, self worth. Rarely do I communicate sarcastically to others to make a point. I choose to say what I mean and mean what I say without saying it mean. Sarcasm was a defensive tactic but has been replaced with self respect and respect for others. I don't have to like you but as a recovering person, I communicate respectfully. I do enjoy sarcastic humor. I've consciously chosen to keep that. I've been on the receiving end with friends and family and joked with them as well. I come from a very fast moving urban culture where this type of humor is prevalent and gotcha moments are appreciated. Again it's the nature of the comment and safety loving feelings between people that can determine whether something said and heard is funny. In my home my partner and I often poke fun at one other in ways that someone outside our relationship might understand as unkind. It's nothing of the sort. It's silly banter. Our punch line is I'm not laughing at you honey, I'm laughing with you! Then we both lol. When looking at how I criticized in the past as compared to today, again low self esteem led me to be unjustly critical of people, places and things with zero accountability for my part, my response. It was easy to see myself as a victim being acted upon. That dismissed me from responsibility to make choices for myself. Program work on denial has helped. Today criticism of people, places and things comes from being able to see I have choices and I can act on my own behalf. Alanon's Keep an Open Mind helps me to think critically rather than react with criticism. Open discourse, discussion with the family or my family of choice Alanon as well as outside the rooms is a preference today rather than being quick to judge. Receiving my hp into my thoughts, words and actions is a daily practice. I may not always work it perfectly but at least since Alanon there's a consciousness and endless opportunities to keep progressing in my higher power's will for me. TT


Surround yourself with people and elements that support your destiny, not just your history.

Senior Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 258

Thank you and Happy Halloween MIP Family!!

Mary and TT, I have been reading and dwelling on this subject all week in the C2C and it just amazes me how

for so many years I just had this "criticism thing" so all wrong. When you are comfortable with yourself it helps

to feel comfortable with others. When you are comfortable with yourself (enabled by the fact that one has spent

some honest time on the the 12 steps) then criticism is viewed in a much more favorable and productive way.

I can see/sense such a peace within myself (for the most part, no one is a rock so to speak) and when someone

criticizes me (thinking, for example, how AH tries to manipulate my sense of security, by saying to me that no

one likes me not even my family smile).  So there is definitely a two fold benefit that I see for me when you work

the steps and become a person who possesses great confidence as well as great tolerance and understanding

for others.  {{HUGS}}



"Forgiveness doesn't excuse bad behavior, but it

does prevent bad behavior from destroying your heart". ~ unknown


~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 2713

Thank you Mary for your service on this fine, cool (finally), Halloween day!

What fantastic ESH about this topic!!! I can relate strongly, so have really enjoyed the different perspectives.

Feeling particularly Grateful today!


"The wolf that thrives, is the one you feed." - Cherokee legend

"Hello, sun in my face. Hello you who made the morning and spread it over the fields... Watch, now, how I start the day in happiness, in kindness."  Mary Oliver



Page 1 of 1  sorted by
Quick Reply

Please log in to post quick replies.