Navigating Social Pressure
When spending quality time with family and friends, you deserve to feel good about the choices you make—and that includes which snacks to munch on from the snack bar or at your favorite restaurant. If you’re on a diet, ramping into one, or you started one as part of your New Years’ resolution, special occasions can put your resolve to the test. For many, it’s a time of anxiety and struggle over the choice to feel good and the choice to make others happy. Thankfully, as we’ll soon see, those two aren’t mutually exclusive.
The Season of Giving Can Sometimes Go Too Far
You've heard the phrase, "If you don't love yourself, you can't love anyone else." During special holidays, at birthday parties, or when getting dinner with friends, people often feel obligated to put everyone else's needs first, over and above their own. This behavior is not healthy and will burn you out very quickly.
Food is an excellent example of how the season of giving can go too far. You might want to please others so much that you break your diet because you were offered a delectable treat at a work party. You partake, not because you want to, but because you were asked to. You’d be happier sticking with your choices, but you don’t want to risk letting someone else down. It’s a struggle we all face.
Holidays are a Difficult Time to Stay Independent
Sticking with individual choices—such as committing to eating a healthy diet—can seem like an impossible task on special occasions or during the holidays. Everywhere you turn, there’s a new temptation and the social pressure attached to it.
It can be challenging to say "no" when you know you should. If you feel like it might go against the group, your instinct is to be agreeable and people-pleasing.
Instead, try to focus on the idea that independence is difficult, but the rewards are worth it. Saying no can be a personal choice that doesn’t let others down.
Stick to Your Truths and Stand Up for Yourself
Get in touch with the words “no thank you” and use them as an excuse to put your priorities first. If you’re dieting to lose weight, politely decline grandma's cookies, even after she offers them multiple times. Or, if you're on the Keto diet, don't let someone guilt you into a slice of banana bread that you know will send you spiraling out of ketosis.
Get ready to hear people say things like, "Lighten up!" or "Come on, it's a special occasion!" Remember, they likely don’t mean to chide you—they just might not understand your resolve. Stick to your guns and feel good about it!
Remember: It's Okay to Tell People No
"No" isn’t a dirty word. As long as you stay polite but firm, “no” is a powerful way to stand up for yourself without admonishing anyone else. It also helps you set boundaries—and stick to the healthy food and diet goals you make for yourself.
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