Keep your sharing focused on your own thoughts and feelings. Please limit your sharing to 3-5 minutes. Concentrating on others' needs, problems, motives, and behaviors helps us avoid our own issues. It also make us observers not participants and can put a safe and lonely distance between ourselves and others. Instead, we need to focus on where we are in our own recovery. We need to use "I" or "me" statements rather than "you", "them", or "we" statements and give everyone enough time to share.
There will be no cross-talk please. Each person is free to express feelings without interruption. Listen respectfully to what others choose to share. We don't want anyone to feel that they won't be able to finish sharing, that their ideas are not valued, or that they won't get a chance to speak. This includes asking questions or other interactions while someone is sharing. If someone's sharing touches your heart and prompts an idea, you can express what has been brought to your mind without acknowledging someone else' sharing.
We are here to support one another. We will not attempt to "fix" another. Open sharing and step study groups are not designed to be a place where we can give advice, even if we are professionals. They are designed to allow free, open talk without being analyzed and given feedback from the group. This keeps the focus on ourselves and enables us to share personal need, feelings, ideas, and problems while the Holy Spirit does His healing work in our lives.
Anonymity and confidentiality are basic requirements. What is shared in the group stays in the group! This includes telling others what was said or done in the group, gossip disguised as a prayer request, or acknowledging someone on the street as knowing them from CR. We don't want to violate trust, safety, or make people afraid to share risky information. All can attend anonymously with assurance that your attendance and the information you share will be held in strict confidence. Our motto is "who you see here, what you hear here, and what you say here, stays here."
Offensive language has no place in a Christ-centered group. Any offensive language is inappropriate during sharing. This also includes information that may be too graphic. If at anytime someone starts to get too graphic in their sharing and you feel uncomfortable, please simply raise your hand. They will rephrase their sharing. Do the same for others during your sharing. This encourages respect while not causing someone to stumble with sharing that is offensive or too graphic. If you are unsure or still need to share in more detail, save that sharing for your sponsor or accountability partner.