Once a month I answer your questions about healthy eating and healthy living. Got a question? Ask away!
Q: I recently made the choice to stop eating meat and dairy. My problem is that my friends think I’m being weird and they keep trying to get me to eat chicken or cheese.
How do I deal with this?! It’s really bothering me. It’s like we’re in highschool and they are peer-pressuring me to drink!
A: Well, first of all, CONGRATULATIONS on your incredibly healthy choice. I hope you’re feeling all the wonderful benefits of this awesome way of eating. Woo-hoo!
I’m sorry to hear that your friends are behaving like the ‘bad kids’ in school – offering you wine coolers and daring you to stay out past curfew.
I wonder what you’ve told them about your new health choices – and how you delivered the news?
Sometimes, it’s not what we say – but how we say it.
Now, I don’t know you – and I don’t know your friends – but my gut sense is that there might be a weak boundary on your part. If you tell them about a choice you have made for your life and your health….and if they don’t take it seriously or try to persuade you to abandon your principles – that indicates to me that there’s something OFF in the rules of your relationship.
The bad news is it’s your responsibility to fix.
The good news is……it’s your responsibility to fix!
Boundaries are what you will and will not accept from other people.
Boundaries are not meant to be mean or punitive or to make anybody ‘wrong’. We’re not trying to threaten or control anybody with our boundaries – or claim superiority.
Boundaries are really just a gift that we give to ourselves. A set of protections that we put in place so that we are able to be our best selves as much as possible.
Boundaries are simply the ‘Rules Of YOU’.
How committed are you to your new way of eating? How important is it to you that your friends accept your choice and leave you alone about it?
Your answers to these questions will inform the way you ‘show up’ when you politely tell people that you won’t be having any steak.
Your choice is your choice – and it’s not open for debate, unless you are unconsciously inviting a debate with the way you present yourself.
“No, thank-you,” – said kindly and with clarity, REALLY is enough. The conviction behind your delivery will set the impenetrable boundary. You owe no explanations.
Think of it this way: If Oprah told you that she was no longer eating meat or dairy, I can pretty much guarantee that you wouldn’t keep trying to sell her a milkshake.
Because when Oprah talks…..people generally listen (except, maybe, my husband and a few other dudes).
Oprah has strong and clear boundaries. When she says something, she says it with conviction and confidence – so much so that you would never dream of forcing your own will – or a milkshake – upon her.
How can you strengthen your boundaries with your friends so that you are Oprah-clear?
I love talking about boundaries, standards, friendships, and FOOD! If you do, too, I would love to dive in with you. Please feel free to reach out to me and we’ll get you Oprah-clear about a whole bunch of things!