The holiday season is typically the time of year when we spend more time with friends and family. For some of us, this means interacting with people who may not support our eating disorder recovery. The unfortunate truth is body shaming and diet talk are an insidious part of our culture. They tend to pop up in conversations regardless of whom we’re with.
This type of talk can be extremely triggering, making our holiday get-togethers anything but merry.
Here are some ideas on how to navigate triggering comments during the holidays in a way capable of honouring your recovery while showing compassion for others at the same time.
1. Remove yourself from the conversation.
If someone you know is aware of your struggles with an eating disorder chooses to bring up triggering subjects, it’s fair to say they don’t get it. Likely, they never will. In cases like this, it’s best to find your escape route. Create a reason to leave the interaction and get out of there.
2. Stand your ground and speak your truth.
You may find yourself talking with someone who is unaware of your struggles. They could be saying things that might be triggering for your eating disorder. This is a chance to practise using your voice and speaking up for your needs.
3. Changing the subject.
If the options above do not feel right to you, try changing the subject. This can be done by redirecting the conversation to something else not triggering.
Always keep in mind people who typically body shame others are only doing so because they are very critical about themselves and may also struggle with their own body image issues.
When speaking up about their triggering remarks, remembering this can keep the conversation away from becoming defensive. It also shows compassion, which is really what this time of year is all about.
Watch the video below to learn more: