How to Handle Resistance When You're Making Positive Changes
One of the hardest—and most surprising—challenges when it comes to taking back your health is how others deal with you wanting to change.
We all need change, to one degree or another. And we all want the best for those around us. But there's something in human nature that tends to feel threatened when someone close to us embarks on a journey of self-improvement—whether that's health-related or not.
I've seen it a hundred times with our members. The hardest part of their journey is often finding the support they need at home, with family, or among friends.
Two Sides of “Together”
Part of the reason it's hard to change your diet is that food in our culture (and most others, for that matter!) is such a communal activity. Sunday dinners with grandma. Christmas dinner with the whole extended family. Your first date at an Italian restaurant. Even at the office, people tend to congregate... that's why we have something called “the lunchroom.”
All of which is fantastic! It's a pillar of tradition, of how we do life together.
But when you're making big dietary changes and no one else around has made that decision for themselves, it can be difficult not to stand out. Not to have them look at you a little funny. Not to have them question what you're doing.
Another big part of this difficulty draws directly from human nature. When we see one person making a big life change in our group, our natural response is, first and foremost, suspicion. People tend to look at their own habits and get a little defensive.
Like, “Who are you to say that there's something wrong with the way I'm living my life, including the food I'm eating?”
As humans, we want change. But, we also want that change on our own terms. And when someone within the group makes a change, it can be seen as a direct criticism of the group itself.
It's a natural response. A human response.
And here's the thing...
It's going to happen.
Preparation is key
That's the first thing to know when you're making a big change. You are, one hundred percent of the time, going to get some degree of blowback from your friends, family, or co-workers.
Going into those situations with your mind in the right place will allow you to stick to your plan and also diffuse most of the conflict that might arise.
The other side of the coin, though, is that you can't get healthy alone. You need a supportive community around you, pushing you forward, living through the journey with you.
Find a community that has your best interest in mind, people who can guide you. It's key to your success. You can read more about why this is so important here.