As you make more and more positive changes in your life, you might notice that some of your friends and family really support you and are genuinely happy for your making a positive change for yourself and there are others who undermine you with little comments and looks that might just leave you feeling upset and wanting to go back to your old unhealthy habits.
Remember that you naturally end up spend time with people who are like you. So if used to eat unhealthily, not exercise, or drink lots of alcohol with your friends and family and now you have decided to change, you are no longer being “like” them in those behaviours.
Some people will find this threatening and challenging, because by you making a stand and choosing to do something differently you are forcing them to notice that the behaviour is unhealthy.
If they are not aware of this happening, they may begin to make snide comments, or pressure you to go back to your old ways so that you can be doing it together and then they won’t feel so bad about continuing in their unhealthy habits
Here’s some suggestions on how to tackle this challenge:
Connecting with and remembering your own reasons for making this change will help you to stand your ground, enforce your boundaries and say no!
They are not deliberately trying to undermine you or not support you, it’s just that your change has activated some uncomfortable feelings and ideas they don’t want to face yet. It mostly has nothing to do with their love or friendship with you, but is really about them being afraid of making a change themselves. Or maybe they are afraid of losing you if you make such a big change in your life and they don’t.
When you realise that their behaviour is coming from their own fear or other emotions, you can be compassionate and help them through it rather than focussing on being hurt yourself. Take some time to talk to them privately, and let them know that you would really like their support in your changes and that you don’t expect them to change too, you just want them to not encourage you to slip up. Remind them why you love them and that if they would like to make a change you are happy to support them and do it together.
Some people will really take your talk to heart, and some people wont. You must realise that you are in charge of your own life and you are making this change for good reasons. Sometimes that big reward and lifestyle change means saying no when it is not totally easy, or even limiting time with people who are still actively undermining you. If you must spend time with a person who is actively hostile to your change. Imagine a big white bubble of light protecting you from their negativity whenever you’re around them.
There are lots of wonderful new friends and colleagues out there who will welcome and be very supportive of your new habits. Notice who they are and begin to spend more time with people who uplift you, support you and help you on your journey. If you are in an isolated area make use of the wonderful online groups, forums and blogs where you can connect with likeminded people as you make this change.
This shift in your circle of friends will naturally happen over time. So just allow it to happen and know that the more time you spend around people who are on the same journey the more you can embed those new habits and make your lifestyle change even easier.
If you need help to release hurt or anger at a friend or family member who has been undermining you, please send me an email or comment below.
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