There’s an amazing statistic that if you have obese friends, it increases your chances of being obese by 57%.
Just being around a group of people who are or who act a certain way greatly increases your chance of being or of acting similarly.
That’s because that’s what’s ‘normal’ for you and your group.
Now, I’m not suggesting that if you’re obese, or have any unhealthy habit that you give up all your obese friends or friends who share the same unhealthy habit.
But if you want to change your behaviors, pay attention to what happens within your group when you implement healthy behaviors.
- Are your friends supportive?
- Do they get defensive when you change your behavior?
- Do they tease you unnecessarily?
- Do they get mad when you don’t join in with the old, ‘normal’ behaviors?
- Do they criticize/make fun of people who are acting in healthy ways?
If they do any of these things, then they are more likely to be accomplices in perpetuating the behavior you want to change. They are not acting as your friends.
But rather than judge them, make them into your friends again by asking for their help. Ask them to confront you on the old behaviors if they see you slipping, and request they encourage the new, healthy behavior.
As authors of the book “Change Anything” note, if you do this, you win twice by eliminating the negative influence of an accomplice and transforming them into a positive influence as a friend.
If your “accomplices” are unable/unwilling to support your healthy behaviors, intentionally seek out and ask for help from people who will check in with you to keep you on the straight and narrow.
If you tell people you want to be checked up on and cheered as you attempt to implement new behaviors, most friends will have no problem calling you or sending you reminder texts or emails.
Continue to remember and reinforce the healthy results you want.
May we pursue our paths finding true friends to support us in healthy lifestyles,