So you’ve decided that you want to go vegan. Good for you.
Although this is one of the most rational and wonderful decisions one can make, it can also be one of the most challenging ones.
Especially when your loved ones don’t support you. Who wants to improve their lives when everyone around them thinks it’s a bad idea? Very few individuals.
The only advice you need if this is the situation you are in is to set boundaries. Yes, create rules that they must follow and lines they shall not cross. It’s for your own well being.
Decide what is too much for you. Decide where to draw the line.
If you don’t do that, people will push to test how far they can go. Not because they are mean but because they can. So you have to stop them before it gets to that point.
By having an honest conversation you can set boundaries that will work for both parties. No one has to lose. This is not about winning but about creating relationships that are healthy and thriving.
Let the person know how you feel. Tell them why veganism is so meaningful to you. Trust me, people are nicer than what we think of them. Out of ten people, nine will understand and stop blocking your path.
The thing is, though, that we rarely talk to people who don’t support our journey. We cut them out or get angry with them, everything to avoid having a heart to heart conversation.
That is because it makes us feel uncomfortable. It brings up all those emotions we try so hard to avoid. But it’s those feelings that create the biggest waves of good change.
Setting boundaries is an act of self-love and it should be a part of every healthy relationship. It might be difficult at the moment to have the talk, but long-term everyone benefits from it.
When you are happy, they are too.
What are some examples of the boundaries you can set with those who don’t support you? How can you set some rules that will bring calmness into your life?
- Politely ask if they would be willing to not talk about their dislike of veganism in your presence. Suggest you discuss the topic at a scheduled time when you are in a peaceful environment, calm and open.
- Tell them that you will only engage in a conversation of any kind if they stay on topic, are respectful, and they do not mock your lifestyle. Any type of hateful speech will not be tolerated.
- Explain why going vegan means a lot to you, how you found it, why it attracted you and give them your personal reasons for change. Be willing to get vulnerable in order to truly share your position and the reason why.
- Refuse to be in the same room as people who do not accept and respect your boundaries. You have the right to remove yourself from situations that do not make you feel safe or wanted.
These four examples of basic boundaries in relationships can create major change if you apply them.
I know it might be difficult to face those whom you love, but think of it as self-care. When you’ll feel better, your communication will thrive as a result.
Take a few deep breaths, meditate if needed, and then go out there in your community to protect your wellbeing and mental health.
Remember, you have every right to set limits that should not be crossed. You must prioritize yourself. When you’re taken care of, you can take care of others as well.
You got this.