DEAR HARRIETTE: My aunt pulled me aside the other day to “lovingly” tell me that I’ve gained weight. I already knew that I was gaining weight, so I really didn’t need her to give me the news herself. Since we had that conversation, she’s been texting me with all sorts of diet and workout plans. I told her that I’m aware of my weight gain and don’t really need her advice, as I’m working on it myself.
It may seem like an overreaction, but it’s going to be a while before I want to speak to her again. Every time I talk to her, she finds a way to criticize me and make me feel bad about myself. Is it wrong to cut off my aunt altogether? -- Judgy Aunt
DEAR JUDGY AUNT: Some people show their love and concern by offering solutions to their loved ones’ problems. That seems to be what your aunt is doing. Her intentions may be good, but the impact is having a negative effect on you. Don’t get caught up in your aunt’s actions. You need to focus on taking care of yourself. How?
Stop responding to her. You can’t stop her from texting, but if you do not react at all to what she sends, chances are, eventually she will not reach out as much. When you see your aunt, tell her that you are working on yourself and you do not need her help. If she persists, sit down with her and lay it out. Tell her that her constant badgering about your weight is upsetting to you and not helpful for your weight-loss journey. Directly ask her to stop, then get up and move.