We all have a loved one or two in our lives who needs support and encouragement in restoring themselves to health. Whether it’s being overweight, chronic stress from overworking, or failure to schedule a visit to the doctor when there is clearly something wrong, it’s painful to watch the ones you love suffer. So how do you approach someone you love and be both inspirational and effective in helping them get back on track?
You probably already know this about me, but in case you don’t, I have a strong tendency to speak honestly and directly.
Some might say I’m blunt
And yet, I have found myself in exactly this situation where a loved one clearly needs to take some proactive steps toward their own health, but because I don’t want to upset or hurt them, I keep my mouth shut. Minding your own business to avoid a difficult conversation may seem like the easiest route, but in the long run, it won’t serve your loved one or your relationship.
Speaking up requires sensitivity, persuasion and courage.
I may not be the best person to advise on sensitivity, but there are some easy ways to create an opening and craft language that is both compassionate and inspiring when getting involved in someone else’s health problems.
Weight, in particular, is a very touchy subject to broach with anyone. Because let’s face it, no one wants to be told they are fat, even if it’s true.
When addressing the issue of weight, begin by asking “How is your energy lately?”
Energy levels and mood usually decrease as weight increases
Once that can of worms has been opened, this is your opportunity to offer some help in finding solutions so they can feel more energized and more emotionally balanced.
If they are open to support, you have succeeded overcoming the hardest part: inspiring action.
If, instead, when you inquire about their energy and they say “Fine, why?”
This is the moment you either go for gold and call a spade a spade,
divert and say something to the effect of “Oh, well, you just look different and I wasn’t sure if anything was the matter.”
Whether or not you choose to be brutally honest depends on how close you are with this person and whether their weight gain is serious enough to warrant saying something they may find offensive.
But let’s say you don’t get an easy opening, then what?
This is the moment for vulnerability, honesty and love.
By sharing your fears about losing them or how their well being impacts everyone around them, especially yourself, you are communicating they are loved.
They need to know they are worthy of health and that life around them depends upon their vitality because they are loved.
It’s important to keep in mind that one of the many reasons people aren’t proactive about their health is that deep down inside, they don’t feel worthy of health or happiness.
They may feel wounded, scarred, inept, or insignificant and all of these feelings result in unhealthy behaviors.
Having a strong sense of self worth is rare. People will literally sacrifice themselves for the people around them because they deem those worthier causes than their own health and vitality.
Please remind those you love they are worthy health and deserve to thrive in body, mind and spirit.
If you are struggling to find the best way to approach someone you love about a health issue, hit reply and share it with me. Tell me what you want them to know but you haven’t been able to.