Who are the people in your life – or pets – that matter? You know, the people who truly care about you and are committed to you even when you’re having a hard time.
Good people in your life are priceless.
Yet, what do we do when the good people in our lives share concern for us? Or, more specifically, how do you respond when a close, loved one – from your inner circle – shares concern about your struggle with an eating disorder…?
Don’t respond too quickly…
Let that sink in for a moment.
Are you tempted to close off? Check out? Turn off?
I think it is very natural to feel that way, but there are some things that you can do to try and remain open to their feedback (again, we are talking about people who care about you and are sincere).
Listen to their heart.
When a loved on shares a concern with you, slow down your reaction and ask yourself “are they trying to hurt me, or are they trying to help me?” Chances are that the “eating disorder self” may answer that question one way while your “healthy self” may answer it another. But allowing yourself time to reflect upon this question may help you realize which part of you is feeling closed off.
A good friend.
Another helpful tip is to consider whether you would say the same words to a close friend of yours if you were truly concerned about them. Some spiritually minded people may call this “speaking the truth in love” – which means choosing to share a genuine concern, even though the conversation may be difficult to have. A good friend is willing to do this.
Talk with other loved ones about it.
If you are unsure of the feedback one loved one is giving you, feel free to connect with other close friends/ family and genuinely ask if the feedback you received has substance. Having a close group of friends and loved ones is vital to lasting change and recovery. They say “it takes a village,” right? Makes sense to me.
This article originally published on The Dine Eating Disorder Blog site.
Photo courtesy of Lisa Woods.