From my sponsor, I look for guidance on how to apply the AA programme to my life in general and specific situations in particular. Sometimes, encouragement, approval, etc. are forthcoming, but I do not require these.
If I'm upset with my sponsor, it's helpful to ask: am I looking for something other than the above? Approval? Respect? Validation? Friendship? The role of parent, therapist, counsellor, doctor, lawyer, banker, partner, sibling, friend, rescuer, persecutor, victim, authority figure, nemesis, foil, patsy, scapegoat, rubber-stamper, prophet, seer, soothsayer, mystic, leader, clergyman, Pope, exorcist, starets?
Sponsorship is sponsorship; business is business; the relationship can be close but must not be confused with any other, or the purpose can be confounded.