Dieting isn’t an easy thing to do, nor is avoiding negativity from your friends about your diet. If you have to eat a certain way for nutritional reasons, and if you face food restrictions, it can be especially hard for people to understand this. One thing I always suggest people do when eating a certain way, or during a diet, is to learn ways for avoiding negativity from your friends and your family about your diet. Because trust me, you will need to know how, and negativity will most likely come from someone. Sometimes, even though people support you, they don’t always understand you. If you need some help avoiding negativity from your friends about your diet, try these tips below.
1. Don’t Get Defensive
Throwing up a defense mechanism is one of the worst things you could do for avoiding negativity from your friends or you family. It makes you seem like there’s something to hide, something wrong, and like they have a reason to confront you. Defensiveness is the opposite of confidence, remember that.
2. Offer Something Positive
The very next thing you could do when someone says something negative about the way you choose to eat, or have to eat, is to say something positive right back. Perhaps this could be something like, “Thank you for your concern, but I actually feel better in this way and that way by eating this way, and have more energy.” Or, it could be something similar. This conveys confidence and peace about the way you eat, and will help them see there’s no reason they need to be negative.
3. Eat with Them
Another tip for helping people stop being negative towards the way you eat is not to avoid eating with them. Friends can become negative about your diet when you choose not to eat with them because of it. It takes away a certain amount of intimacy they associate with your friendship with them, and their concern probably just comes out of hurt more than anything else. So, just eat with them, something you can eat, or bring something with you instead.
4. Ask for Their Concern
Most people are negative out of concern for you. This isn’t always the case, but can be. If you have a close friend you trust, and that you really feel cares about you who is being negative, ask them what their concern is for you. This can help take away some of the negative emotions they give towards you and help them start to explain their position on the matter instead.
5. Explain the Situation
Another thing you can do is explain why you need to eat the way you do, or why you choose to. If you’re on a fad diet just because you think you’re overweight, and one that’s dangerous, then most likely, you’re not going to have a good explanation. This being said, be sure if you are dieting that it’s a healthy one, and one that’s nutritionally sound. If you have to eat a certain way for medical purposes, be sure to explain that as well. Explaining your situation for dieting will help your friends understand you more, and take away from any judgment they might have.
6. Back It up
People, even friends, have an easy time criticizing something they don’t understand. They’re intimidated by differences, even if they don’t realize it. So, the best thing to do to counteract this is to back it up with science, or with research of another kind. Show them the facts on the benefits of eating that way, and how it is working for you. This gives them little to argue with, except for their opinion.
7. Be Confident
You need to be confident in the way you’re eating if you truly believe it is right. Don’t sway and say “You’re cheating this week,” making it a regular thing, and end up eating unhealthy for a week, then dieting all over again. This shows that you’re not dieting for the right reasons, and you’re depriving yourself. Any diet that is really worth being on, or any decision to eat a certain way for your health, is one you’ll easily maintain while still being healthy, and you’ll see it more as a lifestyle than a short term “diet.”
If you have friends that are negative towards the way you eat, sometimes there’s nothing you can do. However, these tips might help you at least begin to counteract their negativity in the meantime. Do you have any tips for friends who criticize your diet?