Recovery Programs are based on Attraction rather than Promotion, but have you ever thought that maybe some have it confused? Here are the definitions of both and a discussion of how they differ in approach.
Attraction (Websters Dictionary)-
the action or power of drawing forth a response : an attractive quality
a force acting mutually between particles of matter, tending to draw them together, and resisting their separation
something that attracts or is intended to attract people by appealing to their desires and tastes.
Promotion (Websters Dictionary):
the act or fact of being raised in position or rank : PREFERMENT
the act of furthering the growth or development of something especially : the furtherance of the acceptance and sale of merchandise through advertising, publicity, or discounting.
Now let’s talk about it in recovery programs.
After over 11 years of recovery I can honestly say that if someone were to say what helped you with recovery I would tell them about my experience in recovery. I would talk about the fellowship of GA as I am a member. I would talk about the way they were welcoming and not pushy. I would tell them that it was and still is not easy but it is worth it. I would share MY story and not tell them what they need to do as it is their journey.
Sharing my experience is a way of expressing my recovery that, because I was asked, would be attraction. The person probably saw something in how I presented myself that attracted them to want that same recovery.
When I was early in recovery I would say things like GET TO A MEETING which often gave the person pause and in many ways turned off a potential person looking for recovery. You might ask why and I would say because it is promotion.
It is important to note that the difference between Attraction and Promotion is sometimes very minor but often very clear.
In recovery if we are attracting people it is by our actions and how we present ourselves. We can say so much that we cover the attraction with promotion. That said there is one thing that, while it may seem like promotion it is necessary for attraction to occur. I have seen listings in event area of a paper which list the location, time and day of a meeting without giving more detail than simply that the meeting exists. I refer to this as attraction for the simple reason that in order for people to find a meeting they have to have information on it’s existence.
Now let’s talk a little about Promotion. Sometimes when a person get’s ‘time in recovery’ they begin to think they are more than (often it is subconscious but it happens). Because I have over 11 years it may seem like I am superior to someone new in the program and and it could lead me to ‘tell’ someone what they need to do for recovery. Others look at holding a position of leadership in a recovery program makes them more than… The truth is that we are all servants to the program and not better than anyone else. Another problem is the idea that telling people to go or referring to it as the ‘only way’ can sound so pushy that people will see it as promotion.
I encourage people to let the changes in them be the way they draw others into fellowship. Let personality sit this one out if you want to help someone find recovery then show them yours by how you have changed. To tell someone what to do or how to do something is to promote rat here than attract. That said, this is only my opinion and experience. So the question is what attracts you to recovery and what form of promotion worked to get you there?
What are your thoughts?