How does one support another person who is SO negative?

I attend this one meeting every week. It is a rather small meeting with a lot of different personalities and a fair amount of sobriety/ We have one individual who can be negative to very negative and frequently defensive. They relapsed last week. (Board lining on the chronic side) They have numeros excuses but not one good reason. …as if there ever is.
My question is this how do we show them support/tough love, to be nurturing/ yet call bull sh!t when we hear it with out feeling like we are talking to a brick wall. Very frustrated! I am at a loss. For me myself i would want someone to call me on my BS.


I’m a very blunt person sometimes it hurts peoples feelings hearing what they need to hear not what they want to hear,

And I have to be okay with that, I rather you hate me sober than love me as a pushover and your coddle person when your drunk again.

Sometimes truth and tough love hurts, but sometimes we just need it. I wouldn’t be sober if I didn’t hear harsh realities I needed to face


I think you answered your own question. Don’t pretend to believe BS. Be honest. While letting the other person know they are valued.
Someone chronically negative can be very draining. I would say sth about that too, personally, but only from my own perspective, not speaking for a group. Maybe this person needs to hear it. It’s like bad breath, you’d be grateful if someone bit the bullet and told you…


Ask yourself, is this question about how to show support, or about you feeling like talking to a brick wall ? About their behavior, or your feelings ?

Keep on talking to that brick wall. Show them you care. There is a crack in everything - that’s how the light gets in.


It can be so frustrating when people don’t seem to listen. I wonder if the person needs advice or if they need to feel heard? Something to think about. I try and remind myself of that with people I am close to. I always want to try and help and fix, but it isn’t always my place to do so.

If I don’t know how to support someone, or I’m not sure what they want or need from me, I do sometimes ask. Or rather than trying to give advice, just ask questions. Or share my own experience if it feels relevant.

I’m not sure there is one right way. Different things work for different people! I think as long as you act from a place of good intention and compassion then things will play out OK :blush:


Just be yourself if they are serious about staying sober then its there choice you just get on with your sobriety plenty of positive people out there who would love your support wish you well


I think somewhere in the big book it says “all we can do is share our story”. AA is also full of the “if they arent ready, then they arent ready” mantra.

Give them all the tough love you want. Call them on evey piece of their bullshit you want. Until THEY are ready to listen, they wont listen.


Thank you all so very much! I will definitely be adding these to my toolbox. I still have a lot to learn.


Love this response. Totally agree.