Setting Boundaries Around Food with Your Family
Food is great, and sitting down at a table with your loved ones after a long day is even better. Many people find cooking and eating food together as a means to bond. The best part is food lights up every occasion. However, as unbelievable as it may sound, not everyone feels the same about food. People suffering from bad eating habits or eating disorders find themselves in a tough situation where they are subjected to facing their fears.
If you find yourself uneasy around food, the best way to tackle such a situation is to set your boundaries and be more open and honest about your requirements. This can prevent you from unintentionally doing something that might cause you discomfort and help others understand you better.
1. Do the Homework
You should really understand your boundaries and to what extent can you push them. What are the things that are completely off-limits and what are the things that you can easily allow? If you are unsure over what you feel bad about, you will probably have a hard time setting boundaries, which can result in you creating boundaries on other’s needs rather than your own needs.
2. Plan It Out
Talking to family and making them understand can sometimes be tough and situations can go awry. The best way to make sure that you get your point across and everyone understands is to plan it. Imagine the responses from your family and practice in the mirror. Try using phrases and words that are simple and can be comprehended easily. Once you’ve got it down, practice what you are going to say.
3. Timing is Key
Make sure to bring your topic up when the time is right. You wouldn’t want to talk about something so important during a heated moment where it can easily be overlooked or worse- lead to a bigger conflict. When talking about something like boundaries, you should choose a time when everyone is in a rather neutral mood and are attentive to what you have to say.
4. The DEARMAN Tactic
There is a dialectical behavioral therapy, based on better communication, called DEARMAN.
– D stands for description, meaning you will be describing the condition;
– E means expression, where you will talk about your feelings regarding the issue;
– A is referred to as assertion, where you will be vocal about what you dislike;
– R is for reinforcement, such that you will let your family know how this could help you be more active during dinner time and get a chance to bond with them;
– M is for maintaining, with which you will not lose sight of your goal;
– A for appearing confident, which is always necessary; and lastly,
– N is for negotiation, where you create a common ground for your family and for yourself.
Problems aren’t solved by avoiding them. Be sure to confront your issues head-on, and make sure that your loved ones understand your condition. If they don’t, how will they be able to support you in the first place?
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