No, I’m not thanking you, my listeners, for your help. (But I do appreciate all my listeners and all the ideas that you have given to me.)
I’m talking about how to handle the people around you who want to tell you that everything you are doing on your weight loss journey is wrong.
It might be your neighbor. Your cubicle mate at work. Your spouse. Or it might be some random unknown and anonymous person in a weight loss internet group.
“You are doing it all wrong! Here is how you need to do it!” Then they proceed to tell you exactly what you need to eat, how you need to move, how much water you need, how much sleep and a myriad of other activities and decisions that are exactly not what you are currently doing.
When someone challenges your process, your decisions, your plan, you have two options. You can defend yourself with reason, rationale, and research. And they may be the right choice, in a few situations. But commonly–at least in my experience–many people become strident disciples of their chosen weight loss method and there is nothing that you can tell them to help them agree with your choice.
People who believe eating a keto diet seem to be very prone to that “my way is right, and everything else is wrong”. (I know that is just anecdotal and based on my experiences, but since they are my experiences, I am standing by my statement.) For those “true believers,” it is more than a simple weight loss plan, it is almost a religion. And in my experience, trying to convince someone that their religion is the wrong religion never ends well.
The other choice is simple (but far from easy). All you need to say is “Thank you for your help on my weight loss journey.” That’s it. Then walk away (metaphorically, if not literally.) A simple, “Thank you, I hear you, and I appreciate your assistance” ends the conversation. And because you will not get pulled down a rabbit-hole of discussion and argument, you win.
Is their advice the right advice for you? Maybe. Or maybe not.
Ask yourself this: “Do I want to be right, or do I want to be happy?”
I’ve decided that I’d rather be happy than right, especially since I am generally unable to convince other people that I’m right. It’s wasted effort and emotion.
Even though the advice that you are given is unwanted, remember that in their mind, they are trying to help you. In most cases, their advice and guidance come from a positive spirit of helpfulness. They may not realize that their ideas run completely contrary to your own.
You don’t need to become defensive and try to rationalize your decision. Simply say, “Thanks for that idea. I am glad you are trying to help.”
And then ignore it.
I remember when my children were young (they are 26 and 23 now) that sometimes, the key to family happiness is knowing when to pick your battles. The same attitude applies here, too.
Music composed and performed by Jason Shaw, courtesy of Audionautix.com
Voiceover courtesy of Matt Young. Matt is a professional voiceover artist. If you have any need of voice-over work, for your podcast, radio spot, or whatever, you can reach Matt by a variety of methods. He is on LinkedIn. On Twitter. And Google+. Follow his Facebook page to learn how to better use social media. Matt was also my guest on MYST 54. Give his story a listen!
All images are Creative Common Zero.