Alcoholics Anonymous - What Is Crosstalk In AA?

May 2, 2023

In Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), the Big Book and Twelve Step meetings discourage crosstalk. It is defined as giving advice, questioning, interrupting or speaking directly to another person rather than to the group.

It may be hard to keep this in mind when you are new to AA and want to speak your mind. But it is important to remember that sharing your experience with others in a meeting helps build unity.

What is Aa?

In Alcoholics Anonymous, members are encouraged to share their personal experiences. This allows members to relate to one another and grow together from understanding each other’s struggles.

However, members also understand that their individual struggles are different from one another. This is necessary for Aa to work, as each member has a unique history with alcohol.

It is also important that each member feels free to express their thoughts and feelings without fear of retribution from other group members. This is known as the Tradition of anonymity in AA.

Crosstalk is defined as two people talking back and forth instead of each person getting a chance to speak uninterrupted. This can include comments such as offering advice or asking an unexpected question.

This can cause members to feel uncomfortable and can be against AA rules. In addition, crosstalk can cause members to lose their focus on the unity of Aa. It can also cause resentments to build up between members.

What is Crosstalk?

Crosstalk is a nifty little trick of the brain that allows two people to talk back and forth, which would not be possible without it. The practice is not widely considered to be the best way to communicate in an AA meeting, but it’s certainly not the worst either.

Most AA groups don’t encourage crosstalk but they do frown on it, and this is a good thing. It’s a good idea to avoid it, especially if you’re not ready to share your personal experiences with problem drinking in a group setting.

One of the most impressive things about AA is how its members have found a way to share their personal stories with other addicts who are seeking help for themselves or someone else. This gives a newcomer to the group the opportunity to feel like they’re not alone in their struggles. It also provides a chance for other members to learn from them and grow together in the process.

How to Avoid Crosstalk

AA meetings are a time to share your experiences with others in recovery. It is common to talk about our own personal problems, but we should be careful not to do this in a way that may be detrimental to other members’ growth. It can be helpful to keep your comments brief and direct — for example, “Thanks for sharing” or something similar — and not try to analyze someone else’s psyche or situation in ways that are likely to cause them stress or discomfort. This kind of cross-talk is not only disruptive to the group, but can also lead to resentment among meeting attendees. In these circumstances, it can be helpful to remind people of the no-crosstalk rule and offer a reminder in writing or in person.

How to Encourage Crosstalk

Addiction support groups, such as AA and NA, are places where recovering alcoholics can share their struggles with one another in a safe environment. Sharing your story with other members who have walked a similar road can be a difficult task, but it is an important part of the healing process. Should someone in the group crosstalk during a story, this can be very disheartening for the person who is sharing and it may take some time for the speaker to build up the courage to continue the conversation.

In order to encourage a safe environment where people can share their stories, it is essential that group leaders keep a strict no-crosstalk policy. This can be achieved by limiting comments about what others are sharing to the simple “Thank you for your share” and not criticizing the person who is speaking or critiquing their behavior.


We believe that a healthy mind and body are essential to a happy life. We bring you the latest meditations and advice on health, mind, body, & soul.
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram