Are you disgusted with the fact that your significant other or household members regards health as unimportant? Or - even if they do, ACT as if it’s not? Anytime you speak of the word healthy, do they roll their eyes, tilt their heads back with chin up and turn the other way? Uh-huh… Turning current habits into healthier ones can certainly be a challenge when we feel that we’re against our loved ones. Here are some tips to help nudge them in the other direction.
Thinking of it like this: You are their Health Leader…
Lead them into a healthier lifestyle. People want to be inspired. Adults are like children in many ways. We don’t want people telling us what to do - and when we feel that others are making us DO something, we do: silent treatment, stink-eye stares, talk sarcasm, rebellious behavior, yup - you know.
Make a Commitment
The truth is, in order for your loved one to take you seriously, you MUST show them that you are in this, for real. Monkey see-monkey really do. Once they see that this is important to you, they will naturally feel pulled to follow you after some time.
Share Your WHY
What’s the reason YOU want to live healthy in the first place? Dig deep to discover what you find valuable about choosing to live this way. Doing this, alone, may trigger their first healthy thought or action.
Ask What’s Important to Them…
When it comes to getting healthy, people who need to change often feel like they’re being nagged. Sometimes your loved one just wants to be heard and understood.
Ask, “What Would Be Possible For You If You Were To Have ________ “ [what’s important for them]. Then ask, “What Would Happen If You Didn’t/Couldn’t Have That?”
This helps them relate their desires with being healthy. Often times there is resistance to becoming healthy simply because they’re too busy thinking about the things they DON’T want to do. Here, you get them to think about what they want, and then relate to how not having that would contribute to their being less happy.
Just Do Your Own Thing
Delete the “you should” phrase. Instead, invite them to try an activity or healthy food that you think he or she would enjoy and allow them to choose. This boosts confidence in their healthy decision-making.
This is probably the harder thing to do: don’t be critical or judgmental about how they choose to live their lives. Tough! Tough! Tough! Especially when you love them so much! Ignore what you feel is contributing to an otherwise healthy lifestyle and praise efforts towards it.
These tips are a compilation of what I’ve seen that does NOT work when observing family dynamics in the hospital and my own personal experience. I would love to hear how you are helping your loved one move in the healthy direction and what other tips you have for those dealing with this struggle!!