The Many Faces of Support

My little family has certainly had experience with explaining {even at times defending} our choices over the years, so when I first started the autoimmune protocol I was quickly reminded that there are many different types of support. And sometimes the lines are blurred as to what kind of supporter you’re interacting with.

Allow me to list The Many Faces of Support {tongue-in-cheek, of course}…

The Many Faces of Support | Enjoying this Journey...

The Sounding Board

Commonly heard {depending on your needs}: “Uh huh… Go on…” or “Focus on how far you’ve come.” or “So, what’s stopping you?”

The Many Faces of Support | Enjoying this Journey...

Traits: Psychiatrist-like. Sometimes just listens. Sometimes offers thought-provoking wisdom and encouraging words.

The Two Facer

Commonly heard is a series of combo moves such as: “That’s awesome! Way to take control of your health.” usually followed with a backhanded compliment such as “maybe you’ll finally lose some weight, too.”

The Many Faces of Support | Enjoying this Journey...

Traits: Passive aggressive. Not to be trusted in a life and death situation.

The Cheerleader

Commonly heard: “You can do it!” “You’re amazing!” “Go TEAM!” {or not}

The Many Faces of Support | Enjoying this Journey...

Traits: Has an infectious {perhaps draining, depending on the day} energy. Tries hard to motivate, inspire, and look for the positive in every situation.

The Sadomasochist Supporter

I honestly don’t know if this type of supporter exists. The Mister and I had fun imagining what they would even be like though. It is essentially the polar-opposite of the Two-Faced Supporter, so I suppose it is possible? This person completely cuts you down, be it openly or behind your back. Yet, they actively support you despite their opinion.

The It’s All About Me-er

Commonly heard: “Your diet change is going to be SO hard for *me* to adjust to.” or “No wheat?! *I* have eaten wheat all *my* life and have absolutely no problems with it! *I* am totally fine!” {but don’t you dare point out their laundry list of unexplained symptoms or health problems}

Perhaps you know the type? I’ve always said whatever problem someone takes up with your efforts to ease or reverse chronic illness/inflammation/symptoms of autoimmune disease says so much about that person. I digress…

The Many Faces of Support | Enjoying this Journey...

Traits: Always finds a way to turn the topic back to them or how your situation makes them feel. They also do not like being called out on their conversational shenanigans.

The Ostrich Supporter

Supports in a neutral manner… until the topic turns to something they don’t want to hear.

The Many Faces of Support | Enjoying this Journey...

Traits: Head immersed in the sand {or in their smart phone}.

The Unconditional Supporter

Commonly heard: “I’m so glad you’re finally feeling better.” or “I’m so proud of you for taking control of your health. You’ve come a long way.” or “It’s been a long road, I know. Tomorrow’s a new day.”

The Many Faces of Support | Enjoying this Journey...
Traits: Genuine. Encouraging. Understanding.

Can you relate to any? Do you have one to add to the list?

There are interface communications that positively support me and there are interface communications that negatively affect me. There are positive and negative actions as well. Someone’s words and actions can help me flourish or wither. Ultimately: I choose who surrounds me. I need to choose well.

Support is out there!

I truly believe it is important when embarking on a major lifestyle change to surround yourself with supportive people. Thanks to the wonderful interwebs we don’t have to feel so alone in our challenges. Or feel odd for getting WAY excited over your first batch of crazy gelatinous bone broth or finding a TON of green plantains on sale {am I right?}.

We have community forums, Facebook groups (AIP Support and The Paleo Approach Community), bloggers who have been there, and social media outlets at our fingertips. And if we are so lucky, we might even find a local AIP support/pot luck group. Find comfort knowing you are not alone, don’t let the nay sayers in your head, and seek out those true supporters!

All I’m saying is take a good long look at the people around you and make mental notes of how often they are helping or hurting your momentum. ~ @danecook on Instagram

Be well,

image credits
“Audio Sound Mixer” by kongsky, “Smiling Cheerleader With Her Pom Poms” by Stuart Miles, “Ostrich” by sippakorn, and “Man And Woman Linking Fingers” by tungphoto. Each via
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  9 comments for “The Many Faces of Support

  1. January 9, 2015 at 11:33am

    Haha I like this post Erin 🙂 I definitely recognized a few, even the sado-maso supporter. Those are so irritating!
    Sophie from A Squirrel in the Kitchen recently posted…AIP / Paleo Lamb Roast with Golden Beets and ShallotsMy Profile

    • January 9, 2015 at 4:30pm

      I’m glad you could relate to a few, Sophie! Haha!

  2. January 9, 2015 at 8:53pm

    So funny, Erin! I’m pretty sure I’ve run across all of these! I might even be one of them! Yikes!

    • January 9, 2015 at 10:44pm

      LOL oh I know I take on a few of these roles myself, depending on the situation. But they’re the better ones {and I’m sure you are as well}!

  3. Brenda
    January 12, 2015 at 1:44pm

    Great list – I see the sadomasochist as those parents who degrade you (you’ll never amount to anything) but if someone else tried to say something like that they would be defending you to death (kind of like – I’m the only one who can call him/her that).

    • January 12, 2015 at 5:17pm

      Great point, Brenda. That’s a perfect description, too!

  4. Amanda
    March 10, 2015 at 9:36pm

    I love this! I feel like I know someone in each category! It is hard explaining to people but I feel like once they see that I’m feeling so much better it usually helps quiet them. Or sometimes not! Thankfully there is support by all of our virtual AIP friends awesome support!

    • March 13, 2015 at 1:14pm

      Yes! It’s hard to argue with the proof … usually 😉 Definitely another reason to be grateful for those that truly “get it”. ♥

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