Appropriate sharing in open discussion groups is something that many people struggle with. There are people who are fine with sharing their entire life story often making others feel uncomfortable. There are no rules for what to share and many feel that whatever a person feels comfortable sharing is okay.
Typically when a group is men and woman, intimate parts of relationships isn’t usually discussed or it may be alluded to for purposes of making a point. When the group is of the same sex it may be more relaxed and the group as a whole can decide what is appropriate and what isn’t.
We need to remember that we don’t want to share anything we wouldn’t want anyone outside of the group to hear. Groups are made up of human beings with faults and while the rule might be that what is said in group stays in group that isn’t always the case. For myself, if I had stolen something and wanted to get it off my chest an open discussion group would not be the place to do it. The same would hold true if I was having an affair I wouldn’t share that in a group.
Appropriate sharing in groups would be to share only enough to make your point. If something is really upsetting you a trusted sponsor or therapist would be the way to go. The flip side to this is that what we hear in groups needs to stay there. My husband is always interested in what I have learned about my disease of addiction. Often I would come home from a meeting and share with him something someone said that really hit home with me. I of course didn’t name anyone but I realized that I was sharing outside of the group so now I journal an important point instead of talking about it.
We all need someone to talk to when things are tough. It’s important to know where, when and with whom to share it with.