If you are wondering what on earth I’m getting at, let me explain. When you embark on any diet, you are going to have loads of people telling you what you should do, what you shouldn’t do, what you need to wear, how much of this your must eat or drink, how much exercise you should do, when to stop, how you look etc etc etc. If you listen to every one of them, you will be a totally confused bunch of anxiety with no idea of what direction to go in!!!
In the vast majority of overweight people, lack of self esteem and confidence is a given so they are not in an emotionally robust state to stand up to a lot of the comments. For example, a person may choose to do a very low calorie diet and only eat shakes. Their mother may be absolutely appalled and frankly very frightened and may go from hinting that they should give it up to even demanding they give it up! The person may feel pressure to give up or to hide it from her mother, neither of which is a great outcome!
The thing is, your body is your body and if you are an adult, your weight and your body is 100% your responsibility and your business! You have the right to choose what diet you want to do. Hopefully you will be adult enough to do your research and choose a healthy one. If you can now learn to handle unhelpful comments in an Assertive way, you are well on your way to success. You will also learn communication skills that will benefit you for the rest of your life. Here goes!
10 STEPS TO ASSERTIVENESS
- Step back from an immediate response. Write down your feelings and return to them later, preferably the next day. Rehearse what to say and anticipate the responses of others.
- Tone: Avoid angry, blaming, accusatory, aggressive approaches – No “You said” or “You did” statements.
- Get the other person’s full attention. Choose a time and place that suits you.
- Use “I” statements and try to be objective which means, not allowing emotions to overwhelm you.
- Keep it simple and use the Assertiveness Formula – When you xxxxxxxxxxxxx, I feel xxxxxxxxxxx I would rather xxxxxxxxxx.
- Invite a response. “I’d like to know what you think / feel about that”.
- Repeat back what you have heard word for word. It’s called reflection.
- Assert your preferred outcome by saying “I hear what you are saying but I would prefer xxxxxxxxxx so that xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx.
- Be prepared to negotiate and compromise. “So if you agree to xxxxxxxxxxx, I’ll agree to xxxxxx.
- Build in an agreement to return to the discussion if there are any future problems. “I’d like to agree that if the problems crop up again, we will come back and talk about it”.
Let us know how it goes, what you tried and whether it worked!