How Will Others React to Your Change?

Douglas Welch ran an older column of his recently on his website.

Not everyone is happy when you change.

So much of it reminded me of what can often happen to survivors going through the healing process.

Usually, those around us, our friends and family, are supportive of our changes. They want to see us grow, too. On occasion, though, there are people who see changes in your life as threatening to their own status quo. If you gain success by changing, what does that mean for them if they remain the same. Humans can be caring individuals, but sometimes they can get wrapped up in their own emotions.

I am sure you have seen this in action in your own life. You decide to lose some weight and then a friend constantly entices you to go to one restaurant or another. You disclose your desire to move to a new town, only to hear all the negative aspects of living there. You are looking for a promotion and your co-workers try to convince you that it would either be too hard of a job or that you could never succeed at it. This natural desire to maintain the status quo can take many forms from benign to destructive, but you always need to look beyond what your friends are saying and find the underlying cause.

Sound familiar to any of you? It sure does to me. Whether we are talking about family members who don’t want you to heal and tell your story for their own selfish reasons, or to “protect family secrets”, or friends who have gotten used to the person you are currently, and don’t want anything to be different, or others who simply can’t understand what you are trying to do, not everyone is going to be thrilled as you go through a change to help you live a healthy life.

But in the end, those people aren’t what matters. The new, healthy you, will make new friends, have new interests, and make healthy connections. Mourn for the lost connections all you want, but you have to move forward, not be held back by those around you. That’s no way to move forward into the life you deserve.

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  1. I am going through psychotherapy now and can relate to what you say. There are a couple of people around me who haven’t liked the change and family are very distant, probably worrying what I may realise about them!

    1. It’s sad, but it happens. People don’t understand what therapy or mental health problems are so they start to look warily at anyone going to a therapist, or talking about mental health. Just because it makes them uncomfortable though, doesn’t mean it’s not doing you good, which is the important part! Good luck!

  2. I understand you when you say that you are gay but you don’t want to be. My parent’s abuse caused me to be a post op transsexual. I never went through the typical pattern of wanting to be a woman. It was their emotional,psychological,and physical abused that left me unable to relate to either sex on an intimate level. Now I can but I’ve lost everything in the process. I’ve had therapy and come to understand that they never loved me. I am too old to start again and only hope that I find a release from the pain soon.

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