Learning to love your body at any size or in any shape is something that each person has to do on their own. But that doesn’t mean that we can’t help one another improve our body image! At our adolescent binge eating disorder treatment center, we encourage people to help those they love gain a more positive perspective.
It’s Not What You Look Like But Who You Are
If you know someone who has a difficult time with body image, try some of these things to help them get focused on what matters:
- Tell them you care about them and why you do. Unfortunately, it’s far too easy to tie our sense of self-worth to our looks. “If I’m not thin/curvy/tall/short/athletic/etc. enough, I don’t deserve people’s love and respect.” Sharing with your friend all the things you love about them can help them see those characteristics as important and valuable.
- Refuse to be involved in body shaming. Oftentimes people who know it’s wrong to shame others about their body don’t have any hesitation when it comes to doing that to themselves. If someone you care about is being critical of their appearance, tell them that you won’t listen to them say such hurtful things and certainly won’t join in!
- Encourage them to share their emotions. Unexpressed emotions are frequently the source of a negative body image, disordered eating, and other issues. Being an attentive listener and trusted confidante for your friend can help them get things off their chest and release unhealthy pressure.
- Keep the focus on more important things. What is your friend’s passion? What are their career goals? What are the people/places/ideas they get excited about? Those are the things that really matter in life. And the more our friend focuses on them, the happier and healthier they’ll be.
It’s All in How You Look at It
Having a negative body image can do more than just make a person unhappy. In some cases, it can be paralyzing. As we tell the families and friends of the young people we work with at our adolescent binge eating disorder treatment program, positive input from loved ones can make all the difference. Call us at 916-784-1120 to learn more about our programs.