5 Ways You Can Be a Good Sponsor in AA

If you’re in Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), and you’ve been sober for at least a year, you may want to consider being a sponsor for those who are in the program. Part of the AA philosophy is to give back to the community and as you probably know, people benefit from having a mentor or sponsor.

Whether you currently sponsor one or more individuals, there are certain things you can keep in mind to be the best sponsor that you can be. Here are 5 ways you can be an excellent AA sponsor:

  1. Tell the truth. A good sponsor will be honest with him or herself and others. Listen, you will be a role model to your sponsees, so be honest with them, even if you’re afraid the truth will hurt their feelings. You’re not just there to be their friend; you’re there to help them stay sober and sometimes that requires tough love.
  2. Be sure to be available. Your sponsees may be new to the program or they may have been in the program for years. Either way, the would appreciate it if you were available on a consistent basis. If your life is super busy and you’re highly stressed, don’t take on any sponsees at the moment. As a good sponsor, you’ll want to be available should your sponsees need to get in touch with you with intense cravings, an issue, or to go over the steps.
  3. Attend meetings consistently. To be a good AA sponsor, it’s important that you attend meetings regularly. This sets a good example for your sponsees and keeps you accountable too.
  4. Work the steps yourself. Not only should you work the steps with your sponsees, but you should work the steps yourself with your own sponsor.  This helps you to be at your best and be a good example.
  5. Be judgment free. Your sponsees may struggle and perhaps even relapse. Try not to judge them, as they are most likely doing their best. If they are simply not doing the work, it’s alright to have a heart-to-heart with them and even offer tough love, but unconditional love is important too. You know what it’s like to come into recovery and struggle. You take one step forward and two back and that can feel frustrating. Just as you would give your children love no matter what they say or do, try to always come back to love with your sponsees.

AA needs good sponsors. Take the initiative and be one!