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Michelle Gottlieb Psy.D., MFT, LPCC
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Why is my family trying to sabotage me?

April 2001


Have you ever had the experience of wanting to make a change in your life, working very hard on that change, being told by your significant people that they support you, and then it feels as if those significant people do everything in their power to sabotage you?


No, they are not being mean. No, they really want the best for you. What they are doing is being very human. People do not like change. Especially when they did not chose this change. If you change how you are behaving, you are forcing them to change how they behave towards you. For instance, if you have decided to modify how you eat by eating healthy, low-fat food, you will start buying and cooking that way. This, naturally, means that your family will be eating differently. They did not ask for this food. They like the other food. They may be very happy that you are being healthier, but why do they need to do it also?


Another reason that the people close to you may be resistant to your change is fear. They may be afraid that if you make these changes and get healthy, you may chose to end their relationship with them.


It is very important that when you chose to change that you discuss it with those close to you that it will impact. Ask for their support. Empathize that it will be strange and difficult for them. Reassure them, if it is true, that you have no intention of ending your relationship. Tell them how much their love and support matters to you.


And who knows, perhaps the whole family will change for the better!

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