What to do when your people can’t support your goals.
So you’ve decided to make some healthy changes in your life. You’ve got goals and you’re on your way. There’s just one problem. Every time you talk about your goals or your progress or your hopes, you get major pushback from some of your loved ones.
What is that about? And what do you do when your people can’t support you?
First off, where is all this pushback coming from? You should always examine yourself first. Is it you? Are you obnoxiously bragging about yourself and your healthy choices every chance you get? Are you being critical of your loved ones’ habits now because you are sure you have all the answers?
If you’re doing any of that nonsense, cut it out. That kind of thing will elicit a hard eye roll from even the most patient of people.
If you are going about your business humbly, however, and your people are still rolling their eyes and responding passive-aggressively to your efforts, it’s likely stemming from their own insecurities.
Everyone knows diet and exercise are important, but it takes work, and most people have not been able to stick to it. Not only that, loads of people hate their bodies. So, you can see how your victories are forcing your loved ones to encounter their thoughts and feelings about themselves, and for many people, that can be painful.
It doesn’t mean their actions are acceptable, of course, but at least you’ll know where it’s coming from should you encounter it.
Well, enough psychology. What you really want to know is how to handle this junk, right? So here are some tips to help you handle the pushback.
- Don’t share your plans or your victories with people who will tear you down.
This one is simple. If you know someone is going to rain on your parade, just don’t let them know there is a parade. All you really need is one supportive person who is willing to listen and encourage you.
- “This is just something I’m doing for me.”
When someone questions your motives, says you don’t need to exercise because you’re fine the way you are, constantly tries to encourage you to eat that donut, etc., just use this phrase. “This is just something I’m doing for me.” You know the reason YOU are making healthier choices. You don’t owe anyone an explanation, so just go ahead and shut it down as soon as it takes a turn for the negative.
Loved One: “You don’t even need to work out. You’re already skinny!”
You: “Maybe so, but this is just something I’m doing for me.”
- “I’d really appreciate your support.”
Go ahead and ask for what you want. When you’re tired of hearing the push-back, it’s okay to ask your people for what you ultimately want, which is support. They may make it very clear that they think what you’re doing is stupid, but taking the softer approach and making your needs known can turn that ship around pretty quickly when you’re dealing with people who love you.
That might look something like this:
Loved One: “Would you just eat a burger already?! Your salad is depressing! Haha.”
You: “This is just something I’m doing for me and it’s challenging, so I’d really appreciate your support.”
I know it’s tough when you’re excited and motivated to do something good for yourself only to get flak from the people who are supposed to encourage you, but using these three tips can help you stay on track with your goals without damaging your relationships.
Go ahead and take back your power with kindness and humility.