How Can I Influence My Family And Friends To Live Healthier?
When you make any kind of lifestyle change you are eager to convince all your family members and friends to do the same, right?
Because you feel so much better you just want to help everybody.
I am most surely guilty of that. When I see family members that are sick or overweight I have a deep desire to help them.
In the past, I did this in not such great way so the responses that I got were not really positive.
At the time, I didn’t know how to talk to them about this topics yet, so most of the time the response I got was defense mode even though I was kind and calm.
We’ve all been there, huh? :)
There is a way to get better responses.
By implementing the tips I will describe in this article, I have been able to influence lots of people in my life. If there is any possibility for a change, this is probably the best way to try and help them make that change.
I’m gonna tell you the secrets of talking to them in a way that they won’t even know that they are being influenced.
I learned many of them from Dale Carnegie and his book How to win friends and influence people. If you want to learn more, I recommend reading his books. He is one of my favorite authors.
1. BE THE EXAMPLE.
The first tip is of course to be a role model. Live what you preach and the results that they will see on you will naturally get them curious. This is exactly what we want. To get them curious.
Just be the example and show them what’s possible.
2. DON’T TRY TO CONVINCE THEM THAT THEY ARE WRONG.
“Why prove to a man he is wrong? Is that going to make him like you? Why not let him save face? He didn’t ask for your opinion. He didn’t want it. Why argue with him? You can’t win an argument, because if you lose, you lose it; and if you win it, you lose it. Why? You will feel fine. But what about him? You have made him feel inferior, you hurt his pride, insult his intelligence, his judgment, and his self-respect, and he’ll resent your triumph. That will make him strike back, but it will never make him want to change his mind. A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.” — Dale Carnegie
Even if you know you are right, you will do nothing good by convincing someone else that he is wrong.
They will step into defense mode and try to defense their own opinion.
If we begin proving something to someone, we are actually telling them that we are smarter than they are. And by doing that we only destroy their ego. We will never be able to change their minds like that.
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Instead of telling someone that they are wrong, you could try learning more about the topic (after all, maybe YOU are wrong not them): “Why do you think so?” Or you might also say: “I may be wrong. If I am, I would like to see why is that. Can we examine the facts together?”
3. DON’T GIVE ADVICE IF YOU ARE NOT ASKED FOR IT.
Nobody likes a “know it all”. Don’t come out like you have all the answers, this will again make them feel like you are superior to them in a way.
Instead, make them curious and get them to ask questions.
4. SHARE WHAT YOU ARE LEARNING
Realize that this is not the same as giving advice. When you are in the process of learning, you can share everything with your loved ones, as long as they are interested in hearing these things.
For example, when I first got into veganism, I was researching all the time.
And each day I found out something new. I was really excited every time and couldn’t wait to tell it to Matic, my boyfriend.
I shared everything with him with enthusiasm.
(I am guilty of sometimes even exaggerating a bit, so it had an even bigger impact on him). :)
“Matic, you won’t believe what I’ve read today!!” And of course, he wanted to hear all about it.
Realize that this is different than: “Matic, you know that I told you that this oil is not good for you…” (Which is giving advice when you are not asked for it!)
Also, be very careful with sharing too much. Observe the other person. Is he or she excited to hear what you’ve learned? If they show signs of boredom, then they are probably not. And that’s ok. (See tip number 8.)
5. SHARE ON SOCIAL MEDIA
We are in a very visual world right now and social media is in full burst. We can take that as a big advantage because now it is easier than ever to share our knowledge with the world.
Share pictures of your delicious meals, or your smiling face when you reached the top of your hike. (Eating juicy fruits or just looking awesome.)
You can also share articles or cute graphics that educate them in some way.
Always be positive and always share positive images. People are drawn to positive things and there is a much greater possibility that something will touch our hearts if it evokes a feeling of happiness when we look at something.
6. INVITE THEM ALONG
One thing’s for sure: People LOVE trying new things. And the other thing is that people often believe that veganism is boring.
So, whenever you make something delicious, invite them to try. Show your excitement!
You can even go that far that you invite friends and family to a dinner and prepare something really special. Show them what’s possible.
But be careful here. It’s always best if they still have all the options that they are used to, so they don’t feel deprived (look at the tip number 2). By giving them the option, they are going to be more open to new tastes.
Whatever you do, invite them along and show the excitement.
When you are doing some kind of sports activity, invite your friend with you.
Maybe you can invite your family member or a friend to be your buddy on the 3-Day Raw Food Challenge that I prepared. You can tell them that it is just a 3 day cleanse, but once they’ll see the results they’ll be hooked! ;) Plus it’s a completely free challenge! (Hint, hint.)
7. TIE IT TO SOMETHING THAT THEY WANT and point them in the right direction
If you know that they want to reach a certain goal and you know the shortcut, you can use that.
For example, if your friend has an important event coming up and you know she wants to lose weight, you can ask her if she wants to work out together. You could also tell her about this workout or diet plan that you heard about and the amazing results people got from it and she might become interested.
Don’t tell them what to do, show them what worked for others. Show them the results that others got (or you). And use tip number 6, invite them along and ask if he or she wants to be your workout buddy.
Bonus tip: Sometimes it really helps if you act like you are the one needing help when in reality you are helping them.
But they don’t need to know that, do they?
“If you want enemies, excel your friends; but if you want friends, let your friends excel you.” – La Rochefoucauld
I also want to tell you that sometimes they just won’t listen. No matter how hard you try.
They just won’t do anything about it.
It is crazy that you have a shortcut that would help somebody get from point A to point B, this shortcut to get them healthier, leaner, that would give them more energy, clear their skin, or maybe even save their life, but they simply won’t listen.
They will rather continue with their bad lifestyle habits and suffer. And you will have to accept that and watch it happen.
I had cases in my family where people actually died because they simply didn’t want to change. It was really painful to watch them suffer.
It hurts so deeply when you know that you have the knowledge that would save their lives, but they simply won’t do nothing about it.
The only thing that you can do is to accept that each of us is on our own journey. They might not be ready for a lifestyle change as big as this, at least not in this life.
But I think that the knowledge that they will get in this life will definitely help them in their next. Even though they might not accept this knowledge yet, it will act as a seed that was planted in their heads and someday it will start to grow.
Maybe not at the moment that we want it too, but at the moment that will be right for them.
It is very diffIcult to accept this and to simply help in a way that they want you to help, even though it goes against everything that you know.
But it is important to respect people’s wishes and not to force anybody into anything.
NOW I WOULD LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU
Have you ever influenced anyone to start a more healthy lifestyle?
It is such a wonderful feeling, isn’t it?