“No thanks, I’m good” can really trigger people.

Had an interesting chat with a young man today, who told me about why he quit drinking 2 years ago

He said it’s been interesting observing people’s reactions when he says “I don’t drink” (usually in social situations where alcohol is present and offered to him)

He said there’s often a defensive response, while they look at the drink in their hand. As though in that moment, they stop and consider why they might be drinking and might not like the real reason they drink

For the record, he isn’t against alcohol, it’s just a personal choice for him

We humans have an intuitive sense of when we’re not acting in our own best interests, but often seek to justify by coercing another into doing the same thing

I see this when clients vent to me about “food pushers” … When they politely decline something offered to them that isn’t healthy or in the interest of their goals.

“Oh, come on, live a little”

“Just one won’t hurt”

“Wouldn’t want it going to waste”

Put those phrases in the context of any other substance:

To a former smoker: “Just one won’t hurt”

To a former alcoholic: “Oh, come on, live a little”

To the former drug addict: “This cocaine isn’t going to snort itself”

Sounds pretty absurd

To your friend who might be struggling with their relationship with food, it might be incredibly hard to say “NO” to a cookie, because at that time, it might be hard to stop at one

We talk about food like it’s no big deal … Well, to the pre-diabetic friend with high blood pressure, who is trying to improve their health, it IS a big deal.

To the friend with aching hips and knees, who is developing arthritis, it IS a big deal.  If someone saying “No” makes you feel uncomfortable, it might be time for some personal reflection

This isn’t about being a “good” or “bad” person. But, for those who have the courage to confront their issues head on, let’s not make it harder. Try lifting someone up:

“I’m proud of you for making that choice”

“Good for you, I know it’s not easy”

Acknowledging we have a struggle, and seeking to change, in the face of powerful adversity takes incredible courage and strength of character.

So, find someone who is trying to make a change, and give them a boost today.