No Cross Talk


For creating a connection with our “True Self”

ACA for inner peace and serenity.

We share our experience, strength and hope with each other as we laugh together, cry together and know that we are home.


Be on the lookout for symptoms of inner peace. The hearts of a great many have already been exposed to inner peace, and people everywhere possibly could come down with it in epidemic proportions. This could pose a serious threat to what has been, up to now, a fairly stable condition of conflict in the world. Some signs and symptoms of inner peace:

  • A tendency to think and act spontaneously rather than on fears based on past experiences
  • An unmistakable ability to enjoy each moment
  • A loss of interest in judging other people
  • A loss of interest in interpreting the actions of others
  • A loss of interest in conflict
  • A loss of the ability to worry &this is a very serious symptom
  • Frequent, overwhelming episodes of appreciation
  • Contented feelings of connection with others and nature
  • Frequent attacks of smiling
  • An increasing tendency to let things happen rather than make them happen
  • An increased susceptibility to love extended by others as well as the uncontrollable urge to extend it

ACA’s No Crosstalk Guidelines

Somewhere along the line, we learned to doubt our perceptions, discount our feelings, and overlook our needs. Telling people what we thought or felt often resulted in our being ignored, laughed at or punished. We learned to look to others to tell us what to think, what to feel and how to behave.

As children, many of us learned that what we had to say did not matter. We were frequently interrupted and criticized … No crosstalk creates a new environment in which we can begin to open up to others without fear of being interrupted, misinterpreted, or judged. If we don’t avoid crosstalk, a meeting with a group of codependents can easily become unhealthy.

The sharing session must be a time when each of us is allowed to express our feelings openly and honestly, free from fear of judgement by others. In our meetings we speak about our own experience, and we listen without comment to what others share. We give the person sharing our full, uncritical attention. We work towards taking responsibility in our own lives, rather than giving advice to others. Crosstalk guidelines help keep our meeting a safe place. This also applies after the meeting and includes giving unsolicited feedback.

Crosstalk is any verbal or physical response to another person’s sharing. Interrupting, questioning, and offering advice, are universally considered to be crosstalk in ACA. Physical touching by patting or hugging during the sharing session is considered crosstalk by some groups. Being touched interrupts a person’s sharing and redirects his or her attention to the other person’s actions. … [This] interrupts thought patterns and disturbs feelings that are about to be expressed.

The safety provided by the “no crosstalk” rule allows a person to experience vulnerability and develop deep levels of trust. Others in the group benefit from this depth of sharing. They have an opportunity to learn more about themselves and to practice detachment.

Learning to Listen

There are several things about a ACA meeting that foster good listening skills. The most important of these is the no crosstalk rule. … It requires that each person be silent for the meeting, to just be present and listen without being called upon to respond. This experience is different to listening to a conversation or a workshop. Not having to formulate a verbal response or form a logical conclusion frees the mind for deep thinking.


It may help to understand crosstalk as a boundary violation … When a group states that no crosstalk is part of their meeting guidelines, cross-talking is a violation of that group’s boundary. It may also be a violation of a member’s boundaries …

A good example of a healthy boundary is ACA’s “no crosstalk” rule. This essential boundary helps us to focus on ourselves at meetings, instead of trying to fix others. Learning to establish and maintain healthy boundaries is one of our greatest recovery tools.

Many of us learned that much of what we thought was true about ourselves and about living was someone else’s opinion, an opinion we hadn’t thought to question.

We have the right to our own thinking. As we recover, we begin to make our own choices about how we think. We allow others to have their own thoughts without interruption and without ridicule.

We are exercising healthy boundaries any time we allow ourselves the right:

  • To define our own Higher Power
  • To have our own feelings
  • To say how and when we are physically touched
  • To have our own thoughts

We are also exercising healthy boundaries when we allow others these same rights.

Sharing Our Own Experience

In the safety offered by the “no crosstalk” guidelines, “We learn to speak our truth and we allow others the same privilege.

Most ACA groups encourage the use of “I” statements as a way of focusing the speaker’s attention on their individual experience. The use of “you” and “we” is discouraged, as these relate more to other people’s experiences. There is also a tendency for codependents to avoid dealing with their own issues by globalizing their experiences, presenting them as belonging to a large and nebulous “codependent we”. “You” and “we” statements may easily get into crosstalk. For this reason, some groups prohibit them entirely by including them in their definition of crosstalk.

As always, the emphasis is on learning to take responsibility for one’s self. If you feel uncomfortable with what another person is sharing, please “take what you need and leave the rest”. In ACA, we learn not to give advice. We learn to allow another the dignity to make their own personal discoveries.

Recovering ACA’ers … purposely do not caretake, rescue, or advise anyone …The answers that [we] seek are not directly obtainable from others. Answers come from within. The answer for one person is not the answer for the next person, so nobody else has our answer. The ACA program of recovery helps each recovering codependent find his or her own answers.

Please, important to remember when sharing in ACA meetings; “We want to hear about you”. About your gentle inner or inner child thoughts, your positive and warm feelings or loving parent, your experience, your challenges, your solutions; that what works for you in your ACA recovery.


  • In this moment I can choose my own Higher Power.
  • I can set aside all the old beliefs about who I am not and be who I am – a child of God.
  • I can remind myself that a faith in a Higher Power becomes a faith in me, and that my recovery lies in being true to myself and to my Higher Power.
  • In this moment, I live my life in a new way.
  • As I continue to open my heart and mind, little by little, one day at a time, I reveal my true self, mend my relationships, and touch my Higher Power. (Higher Power as we understand Higher Power)

Cross Talk for the ACA WhatsApp Groups

No cross talk – no comments (even as a private message, email or contact in any other way)- no referring to a post or message, with the only exception when someone feels safe enough and asks in the message or post for help, comments or outreach to call or for a private message, email or contact in any other way.

To keep oneself in peace and serene with ones own Loving Parent and Inner Child.

Referring to

The cross talk safety is much broader it is not only commenting on a post in this group it is also referring to a post.

Referring to a post is considered as commenting too.

In ACA we keep the focus on our lives and our feelings.

We do not make reference to the shares of others except as a transition into our own sharing.

A very general “what’s been brought up for me is…”, but please do not make more detailed references to another person’s share.

What is Commenting on?

In ACA we accept what each person shares as true for them.

We go to great lengths to avoid creating the climate of shame that enforced the three primary rules of a dysfunctional family: don’t talk, don’t trust, don’t feel. In ACA, we simply do not make a comment here in this group, even as a private message, email or contact in any other way, either positive or negative about another person’s share from this group. In like manner, we never speak about the contents of another person’s share. Everything that is shared in this group is considered privileged and confidential and must be treated with the utmost of respect.

Unsolicited advice can be a form of commentary and should be avoided but also instructions, recommendations and solicited advice, even if someone asks for comments should be avoided at all times. (Which can also be seen as fixing)

Fixing others: Learn to listen

“In ACA, we do not attempt to comfort others when they become emotional here in this group. If someone writes emotional here, we allow the person to feel his or her feelings without interruption. To comfort the person is known as “fixing”. As children we tried to fix our parents or to control them with our behavior. In ACA, we are learning to take care of ourselves. We support others by accepting them into this group and listening to them. We allow them to feel their feelings in peace.”

BRB p576 “We want to balance keeping our groups safe from cross talk with our own responsibility to educate new members about group decorum. In most cases a gentle reminder works.”

No cross talk – no comments (even as a private message, email or contact in any other way)- no referring to a post or message, with the only exception when someone feels safe enough and asks in the message or post for help, comments or outreach to call or for a private message, email or contact in any other way.


In becoming
“True Self”


“Why Using “I” Statements is So Important!”.

When sharing with an individual or as part of a group, using “I” statements can make a big difference. An “I” statement is sharing in the first person, as opposed to using words such as “we,” “they,” “us,” and “you.” At first, it may seem like an insignificant detail, but using third person statements is distancing and impersonal.

It can even be an attempt to subconsciously control others or place responsibility outside of oneself. Example: “When you get abused, it hurts you.” Change this to: “When I got abused, it hurt me.” Sharing in the first person promotes self responsibility by divulging information only about yourself. When you are tempted to use the generic “you,” “we,” etc., try to catch yourself and replace i with “I.”

You will be surprised how different it feels and how much more you and others get out of your share. It may feel uncomfortable at first. That’s because you are casting off your protective shield and revealing the real you. Remember:

  1. An “I” statement exercises my self control.
  2. “I” statements build my self respect while offering others a true opportunity to have a real relationship with me.
  3. Struggling with “I” statements will often reveal the hidden aspects of the issues at hand. If you truly want to disclose your feelings so that you and others can learn more about you, use an “I” statement!

Link to Using "I" statements

What Does ACA Recovery Look Like?


Six Essential Recovery Tasks

1) Recognition

This task centers around our recognition of dysfunction including physical responses, cognitive problems and interpersonal difficulties in social situations and with significant others. The fellow traveler’s task is to encourage this vital recognition of the signs of distress in a way that builds trust and creates the sense of unity needed to continue in the recovery process.

2) Recollection

This task involves uncovering and embracing the hidden dissociated parts of the self. Because of traumatic conditioning, these hidden parts of our selves perceive, evaluate and respond automatically as independent operating systems. Each system holds a specific set of memories, beliefs and related habits that maintain dissociation. The fellow traveler’s task is to provide assurance that recovery is possible and the return of memories and sensation will not be self-destructive.

3) Disobedience

The basic belief in a traumatizing family is that the practice and

support of destructive behavior by adults should be tolerated and accepted without protest by the children. Children are threatened, punished, and coerced into keeping the adults’ behavior secret. They also incorporate the adults’ dissociative and destructive patterns into their own being. Disobedience includes breaking these habits of avoidance and denial and relinquishing our beliefs about maintaining destructive behavior. This may require detoxification from addiction

to exogenous substances and the deconditioning of habitual body tension and cognitive hypervigilance. The main subtask is to disobey irrational authority by challenging the belief that we need to continue these behaviors.

4) Retaliation

The motivating force being inhibited is the talionic response (direct eye for an eye retaliation for abuse [Reik]). This instinctive rage toward people who have caused us harm has been forcefully inhibited and is often directed back toward the self (retroflexion – going against the reflexes) or displaced onto

others. Unblocking this energy and safely expressing the talionic response opens us up to feel other inhibited emotions and accelerates the process of mourning and grief. The primary subtask is learning to discriminate hostile introjects that have been pounded in and swallowed whole from the people who first caused us to live in fear and to stop displacing rage onto symbolic stand-ins in the present. The fellow traveler can support the differentiation process and the appropriate expression of talionic rage which strengthens reality testing about expected retaliation.

5) Separation

The task of separation is to distinguish between what has been termed “me and not me“ (Sullivan). This includes recognizing the internalizations and confusing beliefs of people who hurt us, as well as considering the concept of locus of control and the possibility of independent thought and action.

6) Independence

This final task centers around completion of reflective grieving (mourning the loss of possibilities, opportunities and self-actualization), learning to reparent ourselves, and mastering developmental stages that may have been missed or poorly negotiated. The fellow traveler can assist in the overall process by encouraging the development, rehearsal and implementation of effective social skills and self determined actions that increase self-esteem and selfworth. Most importantly, completion of this task establishes the capacity for genuine intimacy and successful present-directed, goal-oriented living.


Courage to change
to your
“True Self”

All ACA groups or online meetings that would like to join ACA Fellow World Travelers – ACA Intergroup IG#728 for mutual help and support are more than welcome