Having a hard time talking about your diet or weight loss goals? Harvard lecturers give you tips and advice on how to talk to your friends to avoid fights or conflict.
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[Music Playing] Ilana: So, I want to change my habits and get healthy, but I am afraid my friends might think that I have some sort of a disorder or an eating problem. How do I go about doing what I need to do without being judged? Sheila Heen: Look at someone else fully clothed. It is different than how we look at ourselves and the very specific areas of our body. Doug Stone: It is possible that people may actually be concerned that you are being too obsessive about food. You want to at least listen to them. If they say that you are spending too much time thinking of this, you’re getting obsessed with it instead of, you know, running out of the room and talking crazy or ignoring them, you might just say, “What have you noticed?” Like, “What did I do that has been upsetting you?” And then, you can come back and say, “Well, here it is. I am trying to lose weight.” And they are more likely to be receptive of that. [Music playing] Sheila Heen: Do not do them or don’t like, “Do not bug me about this.” Give him a “do”, like, give them a role to help you like, “I really need your help so that I can pass on this or indulge in that.” And it gives them a role in the relationship. It is different than their previous one, but it is so possible. [Music playing] Sheila Heen: Any conversation or set of reactions about diet and weight is about each person. In other words, you are reacting to what the other person is doing but you are also having reactions to yourself based on your own choices. They are judging you but implicitly, they feel that you are judging them. And so, when they hear you opting out, there is a sense of rejection.

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