Updated: Jan 28, 2019
(Sorry to all the Nancy’s out there, but I’m a Nellie and I just can’t use the term Negative Nellie…you understand though, and I bet if this were your post you’d throw Nellie’s under the bus without blinking twice. Haha…I have never met a Nancy I didn’t like!)
So, it’s January 23. You either made a New Year’s resolution or didn’t. For those of you who did, congrats on considering to make a positive change in your life! Research shows that by now, a great deal of people who have made those resolutions have already fallen off the wagon. If you’re still on the wagon, GOOD FOR YOU!!! Keep up the good work and don’t let anyone stand in your way. You got this!
When it comes to resolutions- and making life changes in general- I have made some observations. You have those people in your life that are devoted to your success. They are supportive and encourage you to stay on track. Keep them around. On the other hand you have those people in your life who try to negate your efforts, your goals, your dreams…I call them the ‘You’re Not Fatters’.
The term ‘You’re Not Fatters’ comes from the many people in my life who learn of my attempt to lose a few pounds and try to negate or thwart my efforts by saying, “Why do you need to lose weight? Give me a break…you’re not fat.” First, I never mentioned I was ‘fat’. Sometimes humans just gain a few pounds causing them not to fit into their clothes, hence, the desire to lose weight. I have struggled with my weight and desire to eat food my entire life. I have never been underweight. I have also never been what society would label as ‘fat’. This does not mean I haven’t had periods in life where I could stand to lose a few pounds to not only fit back into my clothing, but lower my blood pressure, blood sugar, and lipid counts. Throw into the equation that my father dropped dead of a heart attack at age 43, and the anxiety of feeling unhealthy ramps up.
This post is for those ‘You’re Not Fatters’ and those who have to endure their negativity. 'You're Not Fatters' PLEASE, for love of all things holy and sacred, stop telling people they do not need to lose weight- unless you suspect an eating disorder (then you may refer them to me, but I highly recommend looking up the criterion for an eating disorder and approach the subject cautiously). We, as humans, have the free-will to choose to live our lives as we desire. If someone is trying to make a positive changes such as to shed a few pounds, start a new hobby, change careers, get out of an unhealthy relationship, or any number of life changes, please do not negate their efforts or desire to make positive changes. If their new hobby involves substance use, of course jump right in! (and again refer to me) Otherwise, be a good person and offer supportive feedback.
Supportive feedback sounds like, “Awesome! Let me know if there is anything I can do to help!” “Fantastic! I cannot wait to see that new painting!” “That’s great! I may know someone in ‘X’ company that would be willing to look over your resume!” “Let me know if your need someone to talk to about your relationship. I trust that you are doing what is best for you and I support you.”
THOSE are helpful statements.
‘You’re Not Fatters’ commonly say negative things like: “You’re not fat.” “Why would you want to learn to paint, you’re an accountant.” “Do you really think changing careers at your age is a good idea?” “Why are you thinking of ending your relationship, (he/she) seems like a great person?” Do these sound like helpful or supportive statements? Umm, no.
There are a couple things to remember about ‘You’re Not Fatters’: their negativity may not be their fault. Perhaps they grew up in a negative or hostile environment. Perhaps they have never had anyone be supportive of them. Perhaps they are just trying to be nice or honest and it just comes out wrong. Before dealing with a ‘You’re Not Fatter’ please consider these things and always fight the negativity with empathy. You do not have to fix their problems, but rather understand where they may have originated. In any case, you still should deal with ‘You’re Not Fatters’, particularly if they are (literally and figuratively) weighing you down.
You have a few options in dealing with ‘You’re Not Fatters’. You can simply just let them go. Weed them out of your life. They are not helpful, and to be honest, I’d be willing to bet they could benefit from some counseling of their own. If this is a person you simply cannot ‘unfriend’, you may want to confront them on their negativity and lack of support. Now when I use the word confrontation, I do not mean you should slap them in the face and yell, “STOP DOING THAT!!!” That’s a bit harsh- sheesh, what kind of animal are you?! No. I simply mean have a conversation with them and explain that those statements are not only unhelpful, but make you feel ‘X’. The ‘You’re Not Fatter’ will do one of two things: get defensive and angry or listen, take time to reflect, and apologize.
I should not have to tell you at this point what to do with the angry/defensive ‘You’re Not Fatters’- you know. Weed them out, or minimally keep them at a distance. They are toxic to your life.
But, the apologetic ‘You’re not Fatter’ deserves a second shot. Perhaps they just need a bit of empathy coaching (I can help them with that too).
In closing, I really hope you did make a resolution- and if you didn’t make one at the new year, go ahead and make one now! There is no rule that says resolutions are for January 1st only. I hope you are sticking to your resolution, forgiving yourself for minor relapses and forging on. If you are having a difficult time with that resolution, feel free to give me a call and schedule a session. Let’s work through what holds you back from success. It could just be a couple of “You’re Not Fatters’ or perhaps a ‘Negative Nancy’ (sorry Nancy, had to get in one last shot!).
To those dealing with 'You're Not Fatters' and to those 'Your Not Fatters' themselves, I believe in you and will be more than happy to help you be your best self!
Happy 2019! Happy TODAY.
Danelle (Nellie) Darvishian