General chatter - Approach people with help...without being condecending




Elena EQ
07-08-2013, 10:45 AM
Dear Friends,

I lost my weight and in the process of trying everything out, I have a feel for what works and what not. I learned a lot about nutrition and exercise in the process and not my friends and family line up for advice (and have some great results too).

But when it comes to the people that I am not close with, I feel just weird. I want to spread some love and support :hug: I know I can give a lot of advice and change a persons life, but I have no idea how to approach it. I guess I have an urge to help people, that don't ask for it, but aren't those the people who need help the most?

PS. I am thinking about my own life coaching business in the area of weight loss. Very friendly, non judging, buddy way to losing weight that is scheduled around peoples life (not lives scheduled around weightloss)


Desiderata
07-08-2013, 11:20 AM
For people that don't ask for it? It can't be done. If someone's not open to it, it won't happen. And no one can ever make another person be ready for it.

There's a really common psychological experience at play here, very similar to new religious converts wanting to proselytize and share with others because they're so very happy with where they're at. Yet trying to convert others to your view point is, 99 times out of 100, only going to turn them off further.

Do your thing and if others ask, share. But taking on a savior mentality and trying to go out and rescue others only backfires. To be clear - I don't doubt your sincere good intentions, but that's just not how it works.

threekidsandasheltie
07-08-2013, 11:23 AM
I dont give opinions unless asked for, I remember before I lost all my weight I didnt want to hear from others what I needed to do.


krampus
07-08-2013, 12:26 PM
I have several spelling bee victories under my belt and I have an excellent grasp of spelling in the English language. I couldn't help but notice you spelling "condescending" without an "s" - in our crazy language there are so many irregularities and misfit words! I have a lot to offer when it comes to memorizing irregular adjectives, and it wouldn't feel like second grade spelling tests.

^ Your reaction to that is how probably 99.9% of people would feel if you approached them and made any suggestions about weight loss.

penmage
07-08-2013, 01:11 PM
^ What krampus said (btw, that was awesome :lol:)

curvynotlumpy
07-08-2013, 01:27 PM
I have several spelling bee victories under my belt and I have an excellent grasp of spelling in the English language. I couldn't help but notice you spelling "condescending" without an "s" - in our crazy language there are so many irregularities and misfit words! I have a lot to offer when it comes to memorizing irregular adjectives, and it wouldn't feel like second grade spelling tests.

^ Your reaction to that is how probably 99.9% of people would feel if you approached them and made any suggestions about weight loss.

LOVE. THIS. ^^ Nailed it, Krampus!!

Clumsy
07-08-2013, 01:35 PM
Don't be that person. If you want ro start a blog or something and invite ALL your FB friend/acquaintances/whatever to it, fine. But don't target the people YOU feel should lose weight. Previous commenters are right, it can't be done without being condescending (thats a more charitable word than I'd have chosen). It IS condescending if you are spewing unsolicited weight loss advice at them. They presumably have access to the internet and can read. No shortage of info on here.


:lol: @ Krumpus

kaplods
07-08-2013, 01:38 PM
^ What krampus said (btw, that was awesome :lol:)

LOL!

Krampus' unsolicited spelling help does a great job of illustrating that there is no way to offer unsolicited help without being condescending, because you cannot know what the person knows, has tried, is trying or is intetested in doing.

I've gotten more than my fair share of condescending advice. Sometimes, I've even asked for it (without knowing the advice would be condescending).

When I was living in Illinois my doctor at the time suggested that I could lose a lot of weight simply by keeping ice cream out of the house and if I wanted icecream I'd have to leave the house to eat it, buying only one ice cream cone.

I explained that I didn't eat ice cream or any "junk food." He suggested I give up fast food. I explained that I HATED fast food.

He had no other suggestions except to hand me an outdated 1200 calorie sample monthly menu (filled with processed foods I didn't eat).

By the time I was eight years old, I had more weight loss knowledge than this physician.

My current doctor at least admits what he doesn't know. He suggested I try low-carb, but warned me not to go too low. When I asked what was too low, he admitted having no clue.

I've been experimenting ever since, and while many aspiring gurus would assume I needed lots of help because my progress is so slow to their eyes, it's fricken' fantabulous to mine, because it's success I couldn't achieve with my wealth of weight loss knowledge.

For the most part, I try to be patient with newbie converts, whether it be to religion or weight loss, but zealotry does bring out my own condescension and I want to pat them on the head and tell them how adorably annoying they are, and then share MY superior knowledge to help them become less annoying. Surprisingly, when I've done this, the recipient is almost never as grateful as I imagined they would be.

sontaikle
07-08-2013, 01:38 PM
Just because you lost 30lbs doesn't mean you're suddenly a weight loss guru who can give random people advice. Don't get a nosebleed up there on your high horse after all!

nationalparker
07-08-2013, 01:40 PM
While your heart may be in the right place, remember that what worked for YOU ultimately might not be what works for someone else ... and what didn't work for you, might be just the help they need. As the other posters have said, we each have to make our own journey through then, when we're ready to make the changes. Congratulations, though, on your success!

Buffinlovin
07-08-2013, 02:05 PM
I agree with all the comments here already...you can't try and force your knowledge onto someone who isn't willing to listen, even though you are only trying to help. Weight loss, almost like religion, is very personal and some people can be deeply offended that you recommend something that they feel is wrong. There are certain boundaries that you just don't want to cross, especially with people you do not know very well.

If you want to share your weight loss knowledge, a blog would probably be the best medium. You can write your opinions, cite facts, etc., and sure people can disagree with you but at least that person was open to reading the information you posted in the first place, rather than be told things that make them feel uncomfortable without having a choice, if that makes sense.

Elladorine
07-08-2013, 02:24 PM
If you really want to reach out and help people in person, I'd suggest joining a weight loss help group like tops.org where the members themselves can write and present programs for the benefit of the entire group. It's an embracing atmosphere of people actually wanting solicited advice (well, typically), which is a much better option than running up to people that "need" it yet aren't ready to start, let alone appreciate your intentions. It would also be a great way to put your communication skills into practice if it's something you genuinely want to become a lifecoach for.

EagleRiverDee
07-08-2013, 03:50 PM
I wouldn't. No matter how pure your intentions, if you approach someone else and try to give them unsolicited advice on weight loss, fitness or healthy eating, you will more than likely tick them off. Even people who ask typically don't really want answers unless it's a magic bullet ("take this pill") or it validates their already cast-in-stone opinion.

SuperHeroTeacher
07-08-2013, 09:18 PM
I have several spelling bee victories under my belt and I have an excellent grasp of spelling in the English language. I couldn't help but notice you spelling "condescending" without an "s" - in our crazy language there are so many irregularities and misfit words! I have a lot to offer when it comes to memorizing irregular adjectives, and it wouldn't feel like second grade spelling tests.

^ Your reaction to that is how probably 99.9% of people would feel if you approached them and made any suggestions about weight loss.

:rofl: just awesome!

JohnP
07-08-2013, 09:26 PM
Your reaction to that is how probably 99.9% of people would feel if you approached them and made any suggestions about weight loss.

Nailed it!

MedChick87
07-08-2013, 10:34 PM
Don't be like this girl who approached me in the gym just yesterday:

Girl: Are you trying to do squats?
Me: Yes.
Girl: You're doing it wrong.

She then proceeded to lecture me for 5 minutes about how to properly do a squat. Don't be this girl. Mostly, like others have said, certainly share your wisdom if someone asks. If they don't bring it up, they probably don't want to hear about it.

Elena EQ
07-09-2013, 08:15 AM
Thank you everyone. I think you are right! I just have this feeling like in the beginning of my journey I lacked that knowledge and support and I wish I would be approached! But noone did and I did a lot of stupid things after reading a lot of stupid things on-line. There is so much info out there!

Krampus great example! But I would love for someone to help me with my English haha. It's my third language, so personally I would be completely happy. I see your point though ;)

Sontalkle well sorry I started my journey before I became 300 pounds :) (I was on my way though). Also scale weight is completely meaningless in my opinion. I look and feel fitter an fitter, but my scale is all over the place. What important is the success in a sustainable lifestyle change, that I believe others can partake in. I would start a blog, but I would like to tailor to each individual...I am just not sure where I am going with all this :)

carter
07-09-2013, 08:22 AM
You can start by sticking around here and post a lot and answer people's questions. There are so many people here who are looking for help and are confused by misconceptions and misinformation or don't know where to start. Doing that will help you refine your thinking and articulate what worked for you and what didn't. It will also help you understand that what worked well for you might not work equally well for other people. Most importantly, it will be met with more appreciation than approaching people with unsolicited comments on their weight and their habits would be, and for that reason, it will be more satisfying to you.

krampus
07-09-2013, 01:04 PM
I didn't mean to sound like a jackass but it was the only example I could think of. My point was really that I think people's tendency to feel defensive or offended when someone points out something they are "doing wrong" would overrule any actual consideration of "Maybe I could stand to lose a few pounds with this Elena chick's help."

GlamourGirl827
07-09-2013, 01:46 PM
krampus - :lol: Great point! Love this because its funny and because I am possibly the worst speller on this board, combined with my blatant disregard for proof reading my posts, and well, I think still I might be annoyed if someone continously offered me spelling help! lol And English is my first and only language, I just idk don't care enough to double check my posts I guess.

To the OP Elena EQ - if you truly feel a calling, there are ways you can obtain the education needed to find employement helping people lose weight. You woud still have to wait for them to ask you, as offering unsolicited advice may be hazardous to ones health...but there are ways to be the person that is the one people go to. Personal trainer or dietician are two places to start.
Like others said, start by answering questions here, there are often new posters that have health and fitness questions. And continue to read and learn about diet and exercise since information is always changing, it helps to stay on top of it all. Good luck!