This is not about you
Even if you have embarked on the path of body positive, this does not mean that everyone around will automatically and unconditionally accept your position. Remember that tactless comments and unsolicited advice are primarily characteristic of the speaker and do not convey anything about your personality. The desire to criticize others may hide a lack of empathy and good manners, internal complexes and a desire to assert oneself at the expense of belittling others, false attitudes and prejudices from childhood, or just a bad habit of blabbing too much - but none of this has anything to do with you. Protect yourself with this thought as an armor: people often do not want to allow others what they are afraid to afford. For example, to love your body that does not meet glossy standards or a healthy appetite and love for a variety of foods.
© Pyshka, 2018
When negative comments on the topic of appearance come from loved ones, it is especially offensive, but more often it turns out that they are really made with the best intentions. Sometimes loved ones express their concern for your health and well-being because they don't know how to do it differently. This is especially true of the older generation - for example, your mother hints that you should lose a couple of kilograms, “otherwise they won't marry,” or your grandmother argues out loud that you are too thin and “don't look like a woman”. Such statements can hurt, even if the relatives do not mean anything bad.
Here, with a reserve of vitality and wisdom, you can show patience. Your parents were brought up in completely different conditions and taught to treat themselves differently, driving their ideas about their bodies into the framework of the patriarchal model of society, and now this is reflected in their manner of communicating with you. And for grandparents, the idea of body positive may turn out to be too radical at all, and unwillingness to lose weight in order to please men can cause shock. Do not hesitate to explain your position to them: that beauty is different and all bodies are beautiful, that a negative attitude towards your own body badly affects self-esteem and deprives you of self-confidence, which is also needed in order to normalize your weight.
© Pyshka, 2018
Defend and stand up for others
Protect yourself and those who are afraid to stand up for themselves. Don't get involved in a squabble, but make it clear that you are not going to tolerate breaking personal boundaries. If the mother-in-law asks if you want to lose weight, you can answer “I don’t want to discuss this with you” or “Thank you for your concern, I myself take care of my health issues”. Do not participate in discussions of the appearance of others: if someone is interested in your opinion about the forms of a sister or friend, let them know that this is her own business and it does not concern you.
Sometimes it is easier not to react to boorish statements, especially if this is a comment from a second aunt, whom you see once a year. If relatives in the midst of a feast or tea drinking comment on your appetite or figure, pay attention to the excellent table setting and dishes on it: “Oh, you must agree, everything is so delicious, I don’t know where to start (or how to continue)! Thank you for such a gorgeous dinner, mom / grandmother / Irina Sergeevna, you did your best for us!"
In many cases, the "silence is gold" tactic works well: an expressive direct look in the eyes instead of a harsh response. So you will show that you have heard the interlocutor, but you do not intend to enter into polemics, and a prolonged pause in the conversation will most likely make him ashamed of his inappropriate comments.
If someone regularly directs such comments in your direction, consider whether you really need a relationship that brings you some frustration. Do not accumulate resentment silently - in the end it will splash out at the most inopportune moment. Without unnecessary emotions and judgment, explain exactly which comment offended you, how you felt and what manner of communication you want in the future. “When I hear such words from you, I feel that you care more about my appearance than how I really feel and what is happening in my life. Please stop talking about my body in an offensive tone to me. I'd rather tell you what is interesting at work and where I went on the weekend."
© Pyshka, 2018
Acknowledge your feelings
Are you upset and angry when loved ones discuss or condemn your appearance? This is totally normal. Previously, social norms dictated that the comments of relatives about the appearance should be accepted with humility and "shake your head", because who, if not them, will honestly tell you the whole harsh truth? But today this is already an outdated approach.
Instead of pushing in the unpleasant moment and playing it over and over in your head, allow yourself to feel it to the end - get really angry and frustrated. Letting go of negative feelings is easier when you've lived them to their fullest. And suppression of aggression and resentment will not lead to a good result. Put your emotional needs ahead of forced socialization - if you can't cope with feelings, retire and cry your fill, but do not tolerate resentment, eating yourself and swallowing tears in silence.
In difficult times, contact your friends. If you are boiling, write to your most faithful friend in the messenger and splash out the negative into letters. Moral support is an important resource, and it is invaluable to get it from the family you have had the opportunity to choose for yourself.
© Pyshka, 2018
If someone close to you considers it their duty to bring you to the idea that your body needs to be corrected, and refuses to stop, explain that you no longer want to listen to the condemning tone and are forced to cut back on communication. It's okay to end toxic relationships, even when it comes to the people you love. This is a difficult decision, but sometimes it turns out to be the only one possible in order to maintain sanity and self-esteem. Often, taking a short distance is enough for the offenders to understand how much their comments hurt you.
It happens that it is difficult to cope with the negative in your address on your own, then you should seek psychological help. When a parent has been harassing you for years with their ideas about the "right" weight and volume, it is not as easy to get rid of these attitudes as we would like. A professional therapist can advise on how to achieve peace of mind in such cases and neutralize the intrusion of relatives into your personal territory.
© Pyshka, 2018
Experience is a valuable asset in the absence of others
Criticism is inevitable, and it is natural to worry about it, especially if it comes from close people. Set yourself up to take a punch ahead of time if you know you will be meeting with advice lovers. Strengthening your inner protective barrier in these clashes from time to time, you will learn not to take someone else's tactlessness to heart, and your self-control will grow. This does not mean that you will stop noticing offensive comments, but you can use these moments to become more generous and acquire the ability to get out of difficult situations with honor. Always remember that what matters is not how your body looks in the eyes of others, but what you are capable of as a person. By your example, you will inspire others to treat themselves with love and focus on what they like about themselves,rather than trying to meet someone's expectations. And make the world a little kinder.>