Have you ever made the decision to do that thing you’ve always been wanting to do? Maybe you’ve been meaning to start a new business. Maybe you made the decision that you are finally going to start that new fitness program or diet plan. Maybe the time has come for you to add to your family or to build a new home. Of course these can be life changing decisions, and your family and friends should be supporting you, right? So why do they react unenthusiastically when you give them the good news?
First, we need to understand that there are different types of people in our lives that seem to not be supporting us because of their relationship to us. For example, parents or other authority figures may react in a negative manner because of their knowledge or past experience. Someone who previously had a foreclosure on their home, may feel that there is great risk involved if you are planning to build your dream home. A financial planner may see rough economic times in the near future and feel that with the current economy this is not the right time to make a major investment. A person who has previously failed on numerous diet attempts may be very unlikely to support you when you decide to try your own new lifestyle because she doesn’t want you to experience the same failures, while a nutritionist may realize that the diet you are considering is not healthy. In cases like these, out peers are coming from a place of concern, or an educated point of view, and are simply trying to protect us or to guide us based on their expertise.
In some cases, our friends are coming from a place of fear. They’re mostly afraid of how your decision will affect them and how it may change your relationship. If you’re planning to start a new business, your walking buddy will realize that you most likely won’t be able to do the daily morning walks the two of you have enjoyed together for the last few months. Your partner may be concerned that if you lose a ton of weight that you may get more attention from the opposite gender and may feel insecure, and therefore not support your decision. In these situations, others are not trying to hurt you, but they are trying to protect themselves from possibly being hurt unintentionally of course, by you!
So how can you make this situation better for your loved ones, and help to gain their support? Try putting yourself in their position and figuring out how your decision may make them feel. Remember, you have made this decision, it is yours to make, and you should not change your decision just to please others. But realize what it is they may be feeling and do what you can to reassure them that this will not change the way you feel about them. You may have to change the time of your daily walks. You may have to assure your partner that they are the most important person in the world to you. You can invite the other person to join you in many of these situations. Yes, things WILL change, but things are always changing, and you can remind others that as you become a better person, you will bring them with you!