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What is a long term listener, and how to find one (Information for Members)

by Laura

Hello Member Community!

As a follow-up to Glen’s forum post about creating long term supportive relationships with your listeners, in this post I will be providing some next steps on how to find and build/nurture a longer term supportive relationship on 7 Cups with your listeners. Please review this post carefully, learn more and sign up.

Many of you already have listeners who have been supporting you for many weeks and months, which is fantastic. In the upcoming weeks, you may want to ask these special listeners to be your long term listener/ sponsors. While not all of your listeners may be able to take you on as their long term member/ sponsee and it is not required to make all of your existing longer term listeners your sponsor, we encourage you to check out this thread to see if it may be a program you want to get involved in. This program will give you the opportunity to connect with your listeners in a more structured way. However, it is important that you carefully review the information in this post before deciding if this is a program you are able to participate in.

(1) Why should you have a long term listener?

------> Consistency in your personal healing journey. Having someone you can regularly rely on for support will help you grow as a person

------> More strong ties to the 7 Cups community! Our community is diverse and beautiful. With your sponsor, you’ll be able to explore the community & all it’s elements in new ways!

------> Goal setting! You can set a longer term goal and work towards it with your sponsor!

(2) As a member, the requirements to have a sponsor are:

------> Wanting long term support & personal growth

------> Looking for a longer term listener who can be there for you in a more structured way

------> Be able to respect your sponsor’s personal boundaries

------> Willing to be vulnerable and open in sharing your story

------> Willing to commit to working with your sponsor for a minimum of 2 months

------> Willing to work through the weekly structured activities with your sponsor and share your progress 

(3) Can you have more than one sponsor?

To start with, we ask that you only have one.

(4) How can you find one?

There are a few different ways you can find your listener! 

------> Ask a listener you have been previously working with to confirm if they're willing to extend long term support to you through regular chats! Let them know you appreciate them and want to continue to work together!

------> Search for listener on browse listeners who are able and willing to take on longer term members! There is a search icon for this very purpose! To learn more about this feature, click here

------> We have a dedicated thread where you can post seeking a long term listener highlighting your preferences, areas of focus, etc. Listeners willing to be provide long term support will check these posts and contact you if they find your requirements suitable for themselves. You can find the thread here

There will also be a similar thread for listeners where they will post their preferences/requirements. Please review their threads, take a look at these listeners profile and reach out to them if you believe they will be a good fit for you. You can find the thread here

(5) Setting & understanding healthy connection boundaries:

In preparation to launch this program, we’d first like to clearly outline our expectations for respecting and maintaining personal boundaries with your sponsor. Your sponsor is a volunteer and therefore needs to be clear with you on when and how they are able to support you. As their sponsee, it is your duty to openly discuss personal boundaries with your sponsor to ensure you both are on the same page regarding frequency of connection and topics that will be discussed.

Setting boundaries is a crucial step in developing a supportive long term relationship with your sponsor. If your sponsor reminds you about boundaries at any point during your time together, we ask that you be respectful and kind in hearing them out and open to making any necessary adjustments to your behavior.

(6) Questions to ask for healthy boundary setting:

------> How many times a week are you able to connect with me?

------> Even if I know you are not online & have no expectation of a live chat with you, is it okay if I message you when I am feeling down?

------> Do you prefer to have scheduled chat times? And if so, what are those times?

------> How long do you like to chat for? 20 minutes, 30 minutes, 60 minutes ..etc.

------> How will you let me know if I have overstepped my boundaries?

------> Are there any topics you’d prefer we never talk about?

There may come a time after your listener relationship is established, where your listener has to tell you that they need to take self-care or need to reset/have another conversation about boundaries. They may say something like this to you:

“Hey XX. I greatly enjoy working with you and I am really proud of the work you have done so far. You have had great growth and I am glad that I have been able to be there for you. When we first started chatting, we agree to chat X time per week. This has been going really well. However, recently, i have noticed you are expecting me to reply and message you at a frequency that extends X per week. I want you to know I am here for you, but I need to maintain the boundary we set originally. I set this boundary for myself and us as a team to ensure that I am able to keep up with the demands of being your sponsor. I am sending this message to you because I care about you and I want to continue to work together. “

If you receive this message like this, we will ask that you accept it professionally. It is not personal. It is just how we ensure healthy long term relationships. You may never receive a message like this, but if you do, we want you to know that it is okay! This is a moment to readjust your behavior to ensure a healthy sponsor/sponsee relationship.

(7) Something to keep in mind about building a supportive long term 7 Cups relationship :

This program is a work in progress & will continue to evolve. Additionally, you may need to ask a few listeners before you find the right sponsor. If a listener has already committed to work as a sponsor to another member, they may need to turn you down. This is not personal! It will happen & we encourage you to keep looking and asking till you find your sponsor!

 If you have any doubts or queries about this long term support program, please share them with us by commenting on the original forum thread here

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