Being a teenager is challenging enough without adding in feeling lousy about our bodies. If you find yourself in a circle of friends who spend time body bashing, consider creating a body positive circle. This is the time to break out your lists from Body Talk with Friends Exercise 1 – Friendship Circles to remind yourself of why this is important! Use those lists to pump yourself up and take this challenge!
1. Ignore Body Bashing: The simplest step in reducing negative body talk with your friends is to say nothing. By that, I mean do not take part in body bashing with your circle of friends. Just because your friends talk negatively about themselves or others, does not mean you have to do the same. Do yourself a favor. Keep silent during those conversations. I wonder if they’ll notice…
2. Be Positive: Now, if you feel a little more adventurous, I dare you to say something genuinely and truthfully positive about your body, in front of your friends. If you have trouble finding something to say that feels genuine and not fake, see the exercises on Making Friends with Your Body to get some ideas. Your friends may be shocked, if they are used to hearing you say body insults, but my guess is that this daring act can impact your circle of friends for good and not for evil. A couple positive comments include “I really had fun fixing my hair in this new style” “I felt so great after that bike ride up the hill today!”
3. Get your friends talking about positive body talk: Getting up to step number three is pretty intense! This step is about talking with your circle of friends about how you all engage in body insults together. How do you start this conversation?
• Show them this or any other related article and ask what they think about it.
• Express how negatively you feel after you have spent time together insulting your bodies.
• Admit to your friends that their friendship is important to you. You don’t want negative body talk, competition and comparison to get in the way.
My guess is that some friends will be relieved and grateful to you for bringing this topic up. Chances are, if you are not feeling good about negative body talk, then neither are your friends. To continue to feel empowered with your friends check out Exercise 4!
Back to Body Talk with Friends Introduction