I know you mean well when you tell your family and friends that you want to change your life. From switching jobs or careers, to getting in shape and living healthier, it’s great to continually work to better, or change, your life. But sometimes those we hold closest to us are the ones also affected by our changes. Your spouse, children, or even your best friend become affected. That’s because your relationship with them may change when you work on yourself. Catch a glimpse into how your loved ones feel, why they lack support, and what you can do to better your relationships while working on changing yourself.
When you tell your friend or relative that you want to change your life in a big way, their first instinct may be fear. People see change as a threat to the familiar. Your loved ones enjoy the relationship they have with you and don’t want that relationship to change if you change. They feel comfortable in the familiar. Any change you undergo threatens that status quo. Their defensiveness comes from a place of love.
Some people think of themselves as a protector to you. These people want you to examine this change from all angles before you dive in. It may seem like lack of support, but they aren’t trying to stop you. They’re just trying to get you to think critically before deciding how to move forward. Some protectors are just protective. They’ve been where you are and want to help you avoid some of the mistakes they made earlier in their lives. You may think they’re being critical or un-supportive, but they just want you to weigh to pros and cons before you move forward. Avoid your own defensiveness. Take what they say to heart; they mean well.
Other protectors are overprotective. They want you to succeed but can’t stand to see your hurt, in pain, or even failing at something you’re excited about. These people seem un-supportive because their love gets in the way of letting you learn and explore. These people mean well also, but are un-supportive because they’re afraid of the negative results you may encounter on your journey.
How to Proceed
The most important thing to do is show your loved one empathy. Think of how your friend feels if you’ve always met them for Friday drinks and now you use Friday nights to hit the gym. Inviting that friend to the gym is okay, but your friend may see that as a sign that you think they need to change, when you’re really just trying to include him or her into your new life and new plans.
People may see your change as saying that “your before wasn’t good enough,” which means they weren’t good enough. Obviously that’s not the case. However, take the time to support your friend and show them love. Explain how you feel. Express why you desire change for yourself. Break down how your relationship with them will only be stronger as a result of your new behaviors.
Chalene’s Courageous Confidence Club: www.courageousconfidenceclub.com
This program gives you the tools you need to build confidence in every area of your life. You are supported by a group of people who are going through the program with you and are a sounding board for decisions and opportunities. This program will get you unstuck from your current situation and will teach you the steps needed to get your life in the direction you want!