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Mark Manley
Mark Manley, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 402
Experience:  Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. Over 15 years exp. Married 30 years and happy.
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Should I be honest to the group at OA or just not go anymore

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Should I be honest to the group at OA or just not go anymore ? I don't feel I am getting help, I feel many of the others are deluding themselves, in a sort of group delusion. Would my being honest seem rude I wonder ? I am afraid so and don't want to be rude to anybody. I also think they will never be helped the way they are going like this without somebody saying something meaningful. So far I have just kept my mouth shut.
Speak your truth in love. If your intent is to help yourself and the other group members and you can handle the groups possible resistance to your truth, then go for it. You only live once and the same is true for each member of the group. Don't waste your next meeting being "nice" seize your opportunity to be kind and loving by being honest, come what may you will feel better about your self for it. If you get some push back (and you probably will) don't let it chase you off. Be the change you want to see in your self and in the group. Go bold or go home!

Best of success to you and the group.

Mark Manley
Mark Manley and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
This is amazingly kind advice. Often I just have not had the energy to try to blow the fog away from somebody else's life , and in an effort honestly to be helpful and also kind. Besides , we all know what happens to the messenger who brings the bad news. These people at this OA group sit around the circle and tell each other how helpful praying to god has been but meanwhile with a couple of exceptions, they are fat and distressed .

They are saying they are in recovery but they are obviously not . They compliment each other and some guest speaker who also was fat and said she had been in recovery for 37 years now, ugh.

Everyone told her how wonderful it was to hear her speak, but she said nothing of importance nor significant as far as I could tell. These people, some of them, seem desperate, and lonely, and I hesitated to blow any body's cover as we say, or to rain on anybodies happy parade. Thinking, maybe they need this foolish group and could not tolerate a valid group therapy setting.

Also, I have to weigh the importance to me of just saving my mind and energy or trying to improve a group that seems happy with itself. My husband has gone with me, we did not speak about it much until last time when I said to him that It seems like pure bull-shanga to me and he answered, emphatically, the same for him but he didn't want to say anything to me to discourage me.

I am going to practice and find some words that will say what I am thinking but not in an insulting way, maybe somebody will pick up on it, but most likely not. When I did say anything too truthful, or too honest, they pretended that I did not say anything at all. Talk about 'denial'. That is one of their favorite words by the way. I really can't stand this type of mentality , it is not for me. Too bad for me that this group has not been helpful.

So, I am going to go with your thoughts and take the advice but in a limited way so as not to cause distress to these lovely people if possible. Maybe I'll take the telephone numbers and call them on a personal basis so as not to expose anything to the group at large and cause discomfort or, also not to have anybody come at my throat as the messenger with the Bad News.
You might just start with your observations about the (non-confrontational and less than honest) culture of the group. If you get a lot of static or denial you can use the interchange as a case in point. Once you have demonstrated the prevailing group dynamic you can request the group to consider a change and give your reasons why. After all, resistance to change is the problem, so you can just illuminate the problem. let them react, and then use their reaction to illustrate the problem and call them to higher ground. This will be good for your character development regardless what the characters in the group do.
Thanks for the 'Accept'
Mark Manley
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