Personal growth can bring uneasy changes to friendships

As I waited for Paige to arrive for her coaching appointment, I thought about how much personal growth she had experienced since she began being coached and committed herself to a new fitness program.

Her initial goal to lose weight had grown into a complete overhaul of her fitness program, her nutritional program and her entire life.

After the first two appointments with her personal trainer, Paige came into our coaching session ready to quit working out. Her body was sore and she wasn’t yet seeing results.

We worked together to establish long-term goals and created milestones along the way so she could feel accomplishment.

That was four months ago. Not only had she reached her original goals, she had created new ones, continually pushing herself forward.

“It’s not hard anymore,” she said in her last appointment. “Now it’s just a habit.”

When she walked in today, something seemed to be on her mind.

“How are you?” I asked.

“I feel great physically,” Paige said. “I’ve lost three more pounds and completed a 5K race over the weekend.”

“That’s great!” I said. “That was one of your goals.”

“I’ve got something else on my mind, however,” she began. “Last night I went out with two friends, at least I thought they were friends.

“When I didn’t order a beer, I saw them look at each other, but they didn’t say anything. As we ordered dinner, I asked for substitutions to incorporate the nutritional information I’ve been learning. I could feel tension at the table, but dismissed it.”

“What happened then?” I asked.

“Sheila commented on my outfit and said how thin I looked,” Paige said. “But it didn’t seem like a true compliment. It seemed more negative. Throughout dinner, both Sheila and Kerry made comments about how I’m working out too much, being too strict with my diet and needed to relax more.”

“What do you feel was behind their comments?” I asked.

“It feels like they’re jealous,” Paige suggested. “Possibly as I get more confident, they feel uneasy. Maybe they feel as though they are less, because they perceive me as more. Whatever is causing this, it makes me not want to be with them.”

“Are you ready to walk away from their friendships?” I asked.

“No, but I don’t like feeling this way,” Paige paused. “What I could do is talk to each of them about how I’m feeling. I would rather face the issue than walk away.”

This was another indication of the growth Paige was experiencing. When we started coaching, she would have easily walked away from conflict. Now she was ready to face it.

We created action steps that included Paige talking to each of her friends and explaining how she felt. Once she had these conversations, she said she would then be able to decide how to proceed.

Coaching challenge: Sometimes when people change, it can leave others feeling uneasy. If other people have comfortably put you into a “box,” it may not feel right to them when you outgrow your “box.”

If you experience jealousy or friction as you change, communicate your feelings to the people who may feel threatened. Be honest and let them know what you are noticing, how important their relationship is to you and how you’d like to be treated.

By opening the lines of communication, you invite growth not only in yourself, but in the relationship.

Sheri Fisher is an intuitive life coach living in Grand Junction. The situations and characters in her column are fictional to maintain client confidentiality. For more information and to access her blog, go to: http://www.coachwithsheri.com.


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