Cliques ? Open debate, polite please

So the term “cliques” is being dropped every now and then. A hot item apparently but since it’s being mentioned before, it might be something to consider.

So, are there indeed “cliques” on here ?
Did you notice 'm ?
What causes this ?
How can we feel others more welcome ?
How can we deal in a more constructive manner when this subject is dropped ?

  • Yes, there are cliques
  • No, there aren’t
  • Other

0 voters

Personally I don’t see any real cliques on here but as always, those with same amount of sober time or joining date seem to connect easier with one another. I believe that’s a normal thing to happen.

Another point is, some people mentioned before that certain addicitions are more present than others, causing some to feel excluded. In my opinion this is mainly due to the fact that we react to what we feel connected with or are experienced with. That’s why I don’t react to, for example, shopaholics.

A last, hot topic, is AA - many times it has been said that it can be too much an AA forum. There are moments where I feel the same way. In my opinion it is important to realise there are many roads to sobriety and we all should respect those other roads.


There are not “cliques” in the high school sense. There are different preferred approaches to communication and recovery, but this is normal and natural, and fits into the overall forum guidelines. There’s a thread for everybody, there’s space for giving and receiving healthy support.

Recovery is complex and belonging - meaningful connection - is huge. We were isolated in our addictions; now in recovery we are learning how we can connect, sober, in healthy ways.

What happens when you put a bunch of people in a room and ask them to bake cookies, if they’ve never baked before? It’ll be interesting.




When I joined the forum I felt it was more cliquey. I think that was because I was new, it felt hard to know where my place was. I saw people who clearly got on and it didn’t always feel comfortable to be part of the conversation. That was more about how I felt about things though, rather than any real reflection on those individuals. I was really new to recovery as well as online forums.

Now, I see people who click and recognise there are some people I click with more than others. That’s cool. There is plenty of room on the forum for different people, approaches, senses of humour etc. The thing I really do love about it here though is that people are overwhelmingly willing to put all that stuff aside to support each other.


Yes I notice this too. I find it takes some effort, sympathy, and a little serenity (!) but it’s always worth it. :innocent:


Cliques has a negative connotation and implies exclusivity. I don’t see that here.

I see small groups of people who have gravitated to each other and formed bonds/friendships, sure. But that’s how life works, is it not? There are some who you naturally resonate more with than others. There’s nothing malicious about that, it’s the same as any group of people forming friendships like you may see at work, AA, anywhere… and it’s not like these groups are unwelcoming to people outside of their “circle” (I even hesitate to refer to it as such). I’ve never seen anyone actively try to make someone feel unwelcome. We’re all here with a common, unifying goal.


Me, :100:! Life was strange back then!


I’m pretty new to TS also, and this is the only support group/ organization that I participate in for my addiction (alcohol). I have felt nothing but acceptance, and received nothing but support on here. But I came on here with an open mind that was ready and willing to receive help and advice. I have seen a phrase used on here quite often- something like ‘take what you want and leave the rest’. Everyone’s methods, tactics, or advice may not be the way you want to go, but it’s is pretty amazing to me that you can come on here with a question or dilemma and have MANY points of view on ways to cope with it.
That’s just my opinion for what it’s worth. Never noticed “cliques” on here.


I don’t see it tbh. I mainly come here to connect with other’s who have walked a similar path like myself. I also post my most personal thoughts on here. Thoughts that I can’t just talk with joe schmoe. A lot of people are doing that from what I see.


Problem here is statistics yes?
The majority of people with long term sobriety who are still posting on here use or have used AA.
Recently there has been a more open approach with people offering all the types available.
But predominantly it’s AA.
The people who have successfully used SMART no longer post.
Myself, @siand and several others always say how we have incorporated bits of everything into our recovery.

If people take offense to one approach that’s on them and they should deal with that, but not here.
Someone comes on here slagging AA and people who use it will defend it. Yes, this can seem like the OP is getting attacked


Humans will always form groups. How those groups treat people is up to the group itself. Some will be exclusive, some will be dogmatic, some will be open, and some will be a combination. All we can do as individuals, is be the best version of ourselves when someone is in need.


Actually, I been here over two years and feel like multiple approaches have always been on offer, as varied as the people here. Advice always being, find what works for you but ya don’t have to start from scratch.

I often wonder if the cross section of recovery programs here just reflects the same number as it does “in the real world.” Statistics, like you say, @Geo.

AA’s been around for decades, SMART’s newer, etc. I’m actually bummed champions of other programs aren’t around as much. There’s something to be learned from them all.

(I’m actually Dharma-curious, looking to up my meditation game.)



If my experience with getting sober includes the 12 steps, I find it odd that I couldn’t say that out loud.


That’s what it comes down to I reckon. AA is the longest running and most established program so it is understandable that there is more AA talk. Just as alcohol is the most widely available drug, so most people on a sobriety forum have struggled with alcohol.

Most of the time, rumblings around here seem to happen when there has been a recent influx of new people, understandably the dynamic changes. It settles though, people here are decent. The other time is a full moon. I never believed in that stuff until I became a mod :joy:

I often find myself amazed that it runs so smoothly most of the time. People from all over the world, all experiencing some degree of dysfunction. My local Facebook group kicks off more!


This checks out. :joy: :rofl: :+1:


I’ve noticed the polarizing of opinions that sometimes happens around 12-step programs. It puzzles me, for the exact reason you share here: it has worked for tens of thousands of people. So what’s the problem? I don’t know.

Personally I think the advice above - “take what helps you & leave the rest” - is probably a healthy perspective to have: simple, serene, “live and let live”. A lot of the arguing seems to be about what something should be (or not be). To me this leads me down the same path I walked in addiction: the world is _____ so life sucks or people suck or I suck or _____. I don’t want to walk that path any more.


I’ve been following the Dharma thread and it seems legit. There’s some really cool stuff on that thread.


I think that often comes when people have a perception (or maybe an experience) of AA, or whatever it is. I think it’s helpful to remember that AA is a volunteer-led thing, and people may well have gone to a meeting somewhere that has a totally different vibe to somewhere else.

Others genuinely cannot get over ‘the god thing’ - I was speaking to a friend offline who couldn’t get past Russel Brand’s chapter on his higher power. She has travelled all over the world, done extensive meditation, yoga, lots of spiritual stuff. I found that quite surprising. She is, however, leaning into Recovery Dharma which is interesting to me.

I am new-ish to Recovery Dharma and to me I can see loads of similarities between it and AA. It’s packaged differently sure but the underlying principles and message… Maybe I am looking for similarities. That’s definitely something I’ve learned here, which is probably something I picked up from people who have shared their experiences in AA :rofl:


Indeed. Mentioned to @siand, a few in my other recovery circles do Dharma and swear by it, so it’s cool to hear more about it here.