If you’re trying to make changes in your life, you expect some resistance. There will be days that you won’t feel like going to the gym, or starting that new morning routine that you’d like to make a habit. But one area we don’t expect resistance is our family. Sometimes family members aren’t the most supportive, and may even be a deterrent to your new changes. I have some insight into why your family isn’t supportive, and how you can use that knowledge to move forward.
It’s not about you
The first thing you have to remember is that their behavior is not about you. Negative comments and actions may be directed at you, but their behavior is really about them and not about you or your changes. It’s hard to imagine why someone you hold really close to you would act out against your positive life change, but it’s important to empathize with him or her. Remember that you’re the leader who’s strong and courageous, and people tend to fear those that seem secure with their lives. They may find understanding if you have a conversation with them to explain your changes and why you felt they were necessary. Always show them love and remind them that they’re important to you.
Overprotective v. Protective
If you’re getting feedback from someone, maybe a sister or your spouse, their advice is coming from one of two camps: overprotective or protective. The overprotective person seems unsupportive because they don’t want to see you fail, feel pain, or be unhappy. That person wants to see you succeed but can’t bear to see you struggle. We all know that struggle is a part of life, but they love you so much that they always want you to be happy and want to help you avoid pain at all costs.
The protective person is usually someone you consider a mentor or friend, they’re rational and reasonable. So when they start to question your motives you think they aren’t supporting you. The reality is that you feeling like they aren’t supporting you is actually you being defensive. This person is just trying to help you see the whole picture, positive and negative surrounding your life change. Sometimes we get so excited about a change that we forget to look at all sides of it. If you have a protective person in your life that seems to be pushing back, it’s probably because they want you to make sure you’ve examined all angles before you make a decision.
How to move forward
The most important thing to remember is empathy. People fear change because it threatens the familiar. People like where they are no matter how good or bad the situation is, and you changing your life will probably also change theirs. So they’re scared and are lashing out because they love you and don’t want their relationship with you to change. Remember that their actions are coming from a place of love and if you help them feel safe and secure they will warm up to your change.
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