Recruiting social support part 4 - Saboteurs

There are four types of people that you might come across in your support network. These are Buddies, Cheerleaders, Hecklers and Saboteurs.

This article describes Saboteurs and how to manage them.


People you are close to can be saboteurs. They are more active in creating obstacles for your success. They still may not realise what they are doing, but often have strong reasons for getting in your way.

You are making changes that they may not be entirely comfortable with or are not ready to change themselves, which can create friction.

Recognising the signs of sabotage and managing your saboteurs will help you enjoy more success.

How people can act as saboteurs:

  • They focus on the sacrifices you are making to reach your goals

  • They schedule other activities during your exercise time

  • They buy you chocolates or treats to test your resolve

  • They seem to think you are making changes too quickly

  • Question your motives for making changes

  • Say they like the old (larger) you

  • Seem to be uncomfortable with the new you

  • They may be in a rut and think you should join them

  • They feel that they might lose you

    How to manage saboteurs:

    • Discuss your weight loss goals with family & friends

    • Make a statement about how important your needs are

    • Ask them about their concerns relating to the changes you are making

    • Reassure them that although you are making changes to your lifestyle, you are not changing who you are, and you still love them just as much

    • Include them in your weight loss rewards. Take a weekend off together or make a purchase for your house.

    • Explain how you’ll have more energy from regular exercise, rather than it taking away from family.

    Remember that you are making changes for YOU, your health and your vitality! Don’t be deterred by others.

    Recruiting social support part 1 - Buddies

    Recruiting social support part 2 - Cheerleaders

    Recruiting social support part 3 - Hecklers

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