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New to Sober Living? Wondering if you have a bad sponsor?

Many folks walk into a new sober living home each day across the country. We would be willing to guess that 90+% are entering the home from an addiction treatment facility or program. We would also be willing to say that these men and women have been encouraged to get a sponsor and get involved with a 12-step group. However, as a person new to recovery or entering a new recovery community, how do you actually know you have a good sponsor? Knowing this will be a critical piece for any newcomer seeking recovery in a 12-step fellowship.

Below are 10 qualities we have seen over the years and we believe that if your sponsor has 3 or more of them they could be a bad sponsor. These are just our opinions based on experience.

10 potentially bad qualities of a Sponsor

  1. You found your Sponsor in a 12-step group and they have no interest in taking you through the 12-steps or they do not know how to take you through the 12-steps (“Wait until you’re feeling better, there’s no rush!”).
  2. They are willing to Sponsor you but do not actually attend any 12-step groups or any self-help type recovery groups.
  3. The Sponsor never talks about the 12-steps but often gives you marriage and financial advice and pretends to be a therapist.
  4. They don’t just “bust your chops” about the silly decisions you make, but they actually yell at you and often make you feel poorly about your life.
  5. They tell you what you want to hear.
  6. The Sponsor brags about you and in a group setting with other 12-steppers, mock you publicly with their friends and they parade you around like a pet. These folks may introduce you as their sponsee and leave out sober living guyyour name.
  7. The Sponsor tells you that you have complete confidence to share your baggage…but you later find out they have been telling their wife, husband or friend everything about your life.
  8. They make you help them move, mow the grass, fold laundry or complete other chores and tell you its 12th step work.
  9. They consistently show up late or blow you off.
  10. They never call you back.

We hope that if you are in a sober living home or new to recovery you think hard about what you want in a Sponsor/Sponsee relationship. This relationship could save your life. We would suggest that you grab up the first decent person you find, within the first week. We then would suggest that if it’s not working out you seek someone else.

For Alcoholics Anonymous views on sponsorship CLICK HERE.

For Narcotics Anonymous views on sponsorship CLICK HERE and download #11.