Did you watch Brené Brown on Oprah yesterday? I did and found it to be a very informative, enlightening, and powerful discussion of vulnerability, joy, gratitude, and a whole host of other issues. The video will be up all week, so if you can find 40 minutes or so, I really do think it will be worth the time investment.
One of the topics discussed was asking for help. As you might expect, my thoughts went to weight management and why it’s so difficult for many of us to seek out support, whether it’s from friends, family, co-workers, or all of the above. I think Brené Brown is on to something with the vulnerability factor.
Here’s what I’m thinking: Many of us who have had difficulties managing our weight already feel judged, to some degree, by those around us. In asking for help and/or support with weight loss from the people with whom we interact daily, we feel even more exposed and are fearful of being seen as weak or incompetent when we veer from plan. In a way, we equate asking for help with asking for judgement, when that’s not what we want at all.
Complicating matters, we sometimes don’t know what we need in the way of support. It’s one thing to ask for someone to remind you when you’re reaching for the snack jar and another thing entirely to receive that reminder. (Or maybe I’m just projecting my own grouchiness in that regard.) So we ask folks to back off and then we feel adrift and unsupported. Vulnerable. And the people who care about us and want to help us are likely feeling vulnerable, too, and hesitant to offer help in the future. So now we’re all just one big unhappy wad of vulnerability.
What if we identified what help we needed and then, as Brené Brown says, “leaned into vulnerability” to express that to others.
Will you listen to me when I’m struggling?
Will you offer suggestions when I ask for them?
Will you let me find my way, MY way?
Whatever needs we have, we first have to know them and then express them in a calm, honest, and respectful exchange, and then keep the lines open so that when those needs change, that can be communicated (calmly) as well. Yes, there’s vulnerability involved, but it’s entirely possible (probable, even) that it will lead to joy.
I am very fortunate in that I have had tremendous support throughout my weight management adventures, both here on the blog and in my everyday life, and I’m so grateful for it. Even the
annoying well-intentioned, “Is that on your diet?” is appreciated, because I know it comes from a place of love or caring. (I’ve gotten pretty good at the internal eye roll. )(At least, I hope it’s internal.)
But these are just my ponderings. I really wanted to get YOUR input. Do you get the support or help you need with your weight issues? Do you know what you need? Is there anything I can do to help you?