How To Set Healthy Boundaries Around Unsupportive People
Picture your social circle. How supportive of your lifestyle choices are these people? Do you feel nourished, loved, guided and supported?
When I made the choice to give up alcohol, it was an intense time. Friends wouldn't invite me out or answer calls. Others tried to bully me into drinking. I lost about half my friends.
I learned that it wasn't healthy for me to hang out with unsupportive people, and I learned a lot about setting healthy boundaries.
I hope these tips for ditching unsupportive people help you!
Practice active listening.
Just because people are questioning in what may seem like an aggressive way, doesn’t mean that this is their intention. It could be their manner, they don't mean it to be upsetting/offensive or they are having one hell of a bad week.
A lot of the time I have found, that these people feel they are being attacked even if this is not your intention, and will react accordingly.
Practice active listening, try to not lecture or only talk about your new found health opinions and instead aim to find a way to navigate through the friendship that is suitable for the both of you.
Could this be bonding over movies? Shopping for vintage finds? Making craft? Walking your dogs? Identify what it is that connects the 2 of you and work on strengthening that bond.
Thank the person for sharing his or her opinion.
Know someone who is berating you over your health and lifestyle choices? Learn this and use it- “ If that is what is working for you as an individual then you are doing the right thing.”
No matter how intense their point of view, this statement really doesn't give them anything to argue with. A personal fave of mine is “ Thank you for sharing,” with a sweet smile. I learnt this from Harv Eker, and it leaves them speechless!
Accept that you cannot force change.
When you take responsibility for your health, and the weight comes off, friends can sometimes feel threatened that their way of life is been judged.
For those living with disease or obesity, to hear that they can change their health and lose weight after living with the belief that its impossible or too hard can be confronting.
If people are not ready/willing to change, then you aught to invest your precious time and energy into yourself rather then trying to convince others to take accountability and responsibility.
Try setting an example, it is less inflammatory,people will be curious and from my experience- inspired and motivated! When a loved one asks you for help, rather then arguing or putting up excuses and barriers, it is a moment to cheer!
Can you ask for support?
Do you have a partner who is unsupportive of your lifestyle and health changes? Calmly explain how great you feel, how happy you are and that you would appreciate some support. I don’t recommend forcing them to eat the same meals, offer a choice instead.
By not pushing, people are generally more open to experimenting. You will be setting an example that others will follow as they notice your progress on your journey.
Ditch people who make you feel bad.
If anyone is making you miserable, belittling you and bringing you down, seriously consider if you need to be around this negativity. By removing unhealthy relationships from your life, you are showing immense self respect.
Everyone is on his or her own path, and sometimes people feel uncomfortable when you veer off and make a new track. Maybe they need time to adjust, or perhaps it is time for you to make a decision about keeping these people in your life.
I always bless the person with love then release and forgive them.- there is no point to holding onto anger or frustration.
Make room for new friends.
Find someone who is going through a similar process and have a buddy for support who can encourage you with the transition. Mix up your routine: try eating at a new cafe, working out at a different gym and you'll meet new people who won't have preconceived notions of who they think you are. It will be a fresh slate!
You needn't dumb yourself down to make someone else feel comfortable. Be proud of your
achievements and successes! Find like-minded and supportive people, friends who will celebrate you as you go about achieving your goals.
Since releasing the negative people from my life, I now have an incredible group of women who support and encourage me to be the best me that I can. Who doesn’t want to be encouraged to grow?