In Monday’s blog, I wrote about the importance of reaching out for support, and suggested tapping a friend or family member to be a Wellness Partner.
But what does it take to be a successful supporter? How do you know that your good intentions won’t accidentally submarine someone’s self-confidence?
This can be an issue when you see someone you love who is discouraged by their weight-loss results. You’re pointing out to them that they shouldn’t be reaching for that second cupcake really isn’t helpful—unless they ask for that kind of input.
I promise your loved one knows that the cupcake isn’t moving them towards their goal and already has enough internal struggle going on. Your pointing out their obvious behavior will probably make them feel criticized and tip the emotional scale to resentment.
Here are some tips for being an effective Wellness Partner.
- Ask for accountability ideas. Instead of suggesting that you keep your loved one from eating that second cupcake, ask what you can do to help support them in meeting their weight-loss goals. Let them come up with how you can best hold them accountable, and then follow through with their ideas.
- Be a cheerleader. Count and celebrate all the things they are doing right—even the really small things—and help them ease up on their self-criticism if they have stumbled. The emphasis should be on progress not perfection.
- Ask for permission to brainstorm solutions. In your strong desire to help, you may mistake the need to vent for the need to problem-solve. Before you start firing off solutions, explore the problem and then ask how they could overcome any obstacles. Sometimes the solution is just getting them to see a situation from a different perspective.
- Remind them of all the reasons Why they are working towards their goal. Stay focused on their ultimate payback and help them see that the feeling of discouragement is not only temporary, but is worth moving through.
- Love them and focus on all the wonderful things about them. The absolute best thing you can do is help them see their value no matter what, and to maintain your confidence in them that they can reach their goals, even if they are stumbling. Your love and confidence serves as a beacon to them during their dark times of struggle.
Being a positive Wellness Partner will not only dramatically increase your loved ones chances of success, but can also strengthen your relationship and give you an energy boost, too.
As you enable another to grow, evolve, and be authentic, you are enabled to grow, evolve, and be authentic.
Together we can do it!