It’s not a matter of if, but when, negative comments are made about our food & body. So what are we to do when it does?
We’ve all been there, and probably been subject to, negative comments concerning food, weight and body.
It’s unfortunate, really, that people think it’s okay to talk about someone in that way.
Many of us grew up in the kind of environment where that was acceptable, and possibly even the norm.
If that’s all we ever hear, we become programmed to believe that that’s okay to talk about others bodies when really, it’s a boundary violation.
When we hear someone speaking in that manner about someone, it’s only natural for us to believe that they could also talk to us, or about us, in that same way as well.
They then make themselves an unsafe place for someone in food & weight recovery.
Our response then can be to want to avoid that person because they’re too triggering.
Here’s the thing, our goal is not to avoid triggers, it’s to become more un-triggerable.
But how do we do that?
Becoming Un-triggerable to the Negative Comments
- Know your convictions
Understand that your actions may look extreme to others. And, just because someone else can do things that you are unable to do without becoming misattuned, doesn’t make you wrong. We all become convicted (and decide whether or not to learn from that) at different places and in different ways.
- Be willing to be un-offended
People may say things to intentionally (or not) hurt us, but regardless, we don’t have to become offended.
We can choose to become bitter and resentful toward others or we can remain unoffended. This practice grows our window of tolerance which gives us greater capacity to deal with the hard things when they come.
- Don’t judge yourself
People are going to say mean, boundary-crossing comments. The last thing we want to do is judge ourselves because someone else is inappropriate. We get to learn to be okay with others not being okay with the choices we make (this goes back to knowing your convictions).
Addressing Negative Comments Directed at You
It can be hard to know what to do when the negative comments come. We want to be bold and courageous and stand up for ourselves. But when it’s a loved one or friend making the comments, they’re often the hardest to say something to.
In sessions with my clients, we do a lot of role playing and script making of how to navigate different situations and scenarios.
If you find yourself in a situation where someone close to you is making comments about you, or someone else’s body, here’s a simple statement you can say in response:
‘When you talk to me, or about my food, body, weight, it’s really hard to connect with you.’
Of course we need not say this in a mean, harsh, shame, blaming way. The goal is to remain connected when we can and remaining open and curious about the situation keeps the door open for additional dialogue.
If you’d like to dig deeper, I invite you to watch these two videos below: