Module 2.

The Role of Friends & Others in Shaping Habits

 

We humans have a very strong desire to be accepted by others. There have been many experiments carried that show that we will go to great lengths to fit in. Even when we feel very strongly about something and know that we are right we would rather keep our mouths shut rather than stand out.

As far as habits are concerned, it’s much easier to change our behaviour when it fits in with what others are doing. I’ve found out that there are three groups who we imitate and with whom we want to fit in.

These are close friends and family, people outside of our family group and people in power. If we’re lucky, we can use these relationships to our advantage. And if we can’t use them to our advantage, at least being aware our need to fit in can help us to overcome resistance.

Close Friends and Family

We all want to fit in and everyone will be in a different position. At home for example, it will be far easier to make the transition if you’re the one that does the shopping and cooking. If you’re thinking of making the change and it’s your spouse or partner that does the cooking then it’s going to be more tricky.

In my own case, neither my wife or I were really responsible for the cooking before we went plant-based. Sometimes I would do the cooking and sometimes my wife. We were both very ignorant about nutrition, healthy food and what makes up a healthy balanced diet. The funny thing is, however, at the time we both thought we knew what constitutes a healthy meal. We were very wrong. My focus was always on protein when it should have been on fibre.

My wife had real problems with her digestion through her thirties right up until making the change to a plant-based diet in her fifties. It got so bad that she even went to the hospital twice where she was told that she had chronic inflammation that would stay with her for the rest of her life. None of the doctors she saw suggested switching to a plant-based diet, but when she did all her problems cleared up. At the time of writing this it’s now been four years since we made the transition and in all that time all her previous symptoms have completely disappeared.

This realisation alone was enough for my wife to join me completely in making the switch to a plant-based diet. Maybe your partner or other family members have health issues that might clear up by moving away from meat and dairy. There are many, many stories of how health conditions radically improved after switching to a plant-based diet. Perhaps make a deal with them to try just to see how it goes.

If you can get those you live with to join in, you are much more likely to succeed in the long run.

Friends, Colleagues and Groups

Others influence our thinking in so many ways. We are programmed to fit it we want to be accepted. I’ve been lucky, even my oldest of friends are still very welcoming with me. Many of them don’t really understand or want to even consider making the changes that I have, but for the most part they have accepted my choices. They don’t feel threatened.

I dance Argentine Tango with my wife and we know lots and lots of people from all corners of the world, but we’ve never experienced any problems or criticism. In actual fact, we are very lucky because those in the tango community are a very open-minded bunch.

There are certain groups that will automatically share your new values. A lot of people who practice yoga, for example are vegetarian or vegan. On facebook there are also plenty of groups for people who are just making the transition or vegan. And now you are taking part in this course, you can and should join our Facebook Group so that we can all give you that extra support.

When you’ve been eating a plant-based diet for a while, you’ll begin to recognize the people with whom you can talk about it and those who are closed to the idea. Those people that have had thoughts about animal cruelty, health issues or climate change worries are far more likely to engage with you in conversation than those who have not.

If you’re worried about what friends, family and others will say or how they will react, the very best policy is simply to say nothing. At the beginning that’s what I did. Now, years later, I’m more vocal, but it all depends on my mood and the person that I’m interacting with.

To summarize, the more ways you can think of to join groups of people that share your values and lifestyle choices the easier your transition will be. “Birds of a feather flock together”

1. Introduction  |  2. Identity Change  |  3. Make it Rewarding  |  4. How to Build Habits  6. The Best Way to Start  |  7. Environment  |  8. More on Environment  |  9. Make it Attractive10. Make it Unattractive  |  11. Role of Friends and Family  |  12. Momentum | 13. Make it Easy  |  14. Procrastination  |  15. Commitment Devices

About Module 2:

Before we find out more about switching to a healthy diet, it will help us a lot to learn about how habits are formed and, perhaps most importantly, kept.

I’m really excited about this module because it provides us with a tool for making changes in all areas of our life, not just diet and health. I promise that you’ll discover a lot of new ways of implementing changes in your life. This module will also help you to kick bad habits and create new ones.

Module 2.

The Role of Friends & Others in Shaping Habits

 

We humans have a very strong desire to be accepted by others. There have been many experiments carried that show that we will go to great lengths to fit in. Even when we feel very strongly about something and know that we are right we would rather keep our mouths shut rather than stand out.

As far as habits are concerned, it’s much easier to change our behaviour when it fits in with what others are doing. I’ve found out that there are three groups who we imitate and with whom we want to fit in.

These are close friends and family, people outside of our family group and people in power. If we’re lucky, we can use these relationships to our advantage. And if we can’t use them to our advantage, at least being aware our need to fit in can help us to overcome resistance.

Close Friends and Family

We all want to fit in and everyone will be in a different position. At home for example, it will be far easier to make the transition if you’re the one that does the shopping and cooking. If you’re thinking of making the change and it’s your spouse or partner that does the cooking then it’s going to be more tricky.

In my own case, neither my wife or I were really responsible for the cooking before we went plant-based. Sometimes I would do the cooking and sometimes my wife. We were both very ignorant about nutrition, healthy food and what makes up a healthy balanced diet. The funny thing is, however, at the time we both thought we knew what constitutes a healthy meal. We were very wrong. My focus was always on protein when it should have been on fibre.

My wife had real problems with her digestion through her thirties right up until making the change to a plant-based diet in her fifties. It got so bad that she even went to the hospital twice where she was told that she had chronic inflammation that would stay with her for the rest of her life. None of the doctors she saw suggested switching to a plant-based diet, but when she did all her problems cleared up. At the time of writing this it’s now been four years since we made the transition and in all that time all her previous symptoms have completely disappeared.

This realisation alone was enough for my wife to join me completely in making the switch to a plant-based diet. Maybe your partner or other family members have health issues that might clear up by moving away from meat and dairy. There are many, many stories of how health conditions radically improved after switching to a plant-based diet. Perhaps make a deal with them to try just to see how it goes.

If you can get those you live with to join in, you are much more likely to succeed in the long run.

Friends, Colleagues and Groups

Others influence our thinking in so many ways. We are programmed to fit it we want to be accepted. I’ve been lucky, even my oldest of friends are still very welcoming with me. Many of them don’t really understand or want to even consider making the changes that I have, but for the most part they have accepted my choices. They don’t feel threatened.

I dance Argentine Tango with my wife and we know lots and lots of people from all corners of the world, but we’ve never experienced any problems or criticism. In actual fact, we are very lucky because those in the tango community are a very open-minded bunch.

There are certain groups that will automatically share your new values. A lot of people who practice yoga, for example are vegetarian or vegan. On facebook there are also plenty of groups for people who are just making the transition or vegan. And now you are taking part in this course, you can and should join our Facebook Group so that we can all give you that extra support.

When you’ve been eating a plant-based diet for a while, you’ll begin to recognize the people with whom you can talk about it and those who are closed to the idea. Those people that have had thoughts about animal cruelty, health issues or climate change worries are far more likely to engage with you in conversation than those who have not.

If you’re worried about what friends, family and others will say or how they will react, the very best policy is simply to say nothing. At the beginning that’s what I did. Now, years later, I’m more vocal, but it all depends on my mood and the person that I’m interacting with.

To summarize, the more ways you can think of to join groups of people that share your values and lifestyle choices the easier your transition will be. “Birds of a feather flock together”

1. Introduction  |  2. Identity Change  |  3. Make it Rewarding  |  4. How to Build Habits  6. The Best Way to Start  |  7. Environment  |  8. More on Environment  |  9. Make it Attractive10. Make it Unattractive  |  11. Role of Friends and Family  |  12. Momentum | 13. Make it Easy  |  14. Procrastination  |  15. Commitment Devices

About Module 2:

Before we find out more about switching to a healthy diet, it will help us a lot to learn about how habits are formed and, perhaps most importantly, kept.

I’m really excited about this module because it provides us with a tool for making changes in all areas of our life, not just diet and health. I promise that you’ll discover a lot of new ways of implementing changes in your life. This module will also help you to kick bad habits and create new ones.