My hope is that this article will help someone who is unhappy with their support group leader. I am sharing because it is NOT ok for someone to be unhappy in a support group, especially with food allergies already being so overwhelming and confusing. Let's look at some for instances...
- It is NOT ok for a support group leader to be belligerent to others or to take action for the chance of prestige for themselves when in reality, support groups are all about the community, helping everyone and all working together. It's a group- there is no single pat on the back, there is no "I have this all planned out and it doesn't matter what you say".
- It is NOT ok to be malicious and tell outright lies about others around you to try to bring additional members to your group, thinking you are the only one in the spotlight to help these people that place their trust in you. Eventually, your group members will see through you.
- It is NOT ok to use anger or negativity as a power play within your group. If you are supposed to lead, then lead with positivity. Such is the saying "You catch more flies with honey".
- "Egotists regard themselves as superior, set apart from everyone else
- They are entitled and important simply because they want to be
- They know everything, or at least don't believe they can be taught anything of significance in their immediate world
- With a rear-view-mirror perspective, they rely on past accomplishments, convinced these are enough to carry them wherever they want to go.
- Ask people with authority to join you. Is you support group broken down into different levels of leadership? Approach one of those who have more authority than you and discuss your thoughts with them. A true support group will welcome any and all thoughts of a member but (again) be prepared to offer suggestions of how to improve the situation as well. Sometimes when support group leaders are caught up in their day to day, they don't realize that members are not happy with the current setup.
- Alert national non-profits. Many food allergy support groups strive to be recognized as national non profit support group. If a support group leader is not a positive role model, doesn't seem to have a true mission to help vs. gain popularity or if they have reputation within the community to be impossible to approach or work with, this also reflects badly on any national non profits who have given that group their seal of approval. Sometimes these national non profits need a little bit of a heads up to investigate on their own, especially if a valued member of the food allergy community feels that their group leader is less than what the non profit expects.
If you feel that your food allergy support group is not sustaining what you need for your community, ask yourself what the cause is. Find someone who will support you. Find a leader that is pleasant to speak to. Above all, don't put up with anyone's crap- there is too much to worry about already and so much better that we can accomplish together.