Psychological Aikido: how to defend your choice in a family of meat eaters

Technique One: Know your opponent and be prepared to adequately counter him.

Your loved ones are not your enemies, but in the matter of vegetarianism they are your opponents. They have their views on food, you have yours. Prove your point of view should be argued, but not emotionally and without raising your voice.

“You don’t eat meat, where do you get protein from? How will you become healthy and strong if you don’t eat meat?” etc. You must have convincing answers to these questions. It’s not easy to change the worldview of your grandmother or mother, but if you have strong arguments, it is possible. For greater solidity, your words must be supported by articles from newspapers, excerpts from books, speeches by doctors. You need authoritative sources that your loved ones will believe. Science can act as this authority. For example, “biologists have proven that nuts, beans, lentils, broccoli, spinach contain more protein than meat, in addition, these products are not stuffed with antibiotics, like a chicken or a cow raised on a farm” – there is a chance that such an answer will satisfy your interlocutor. History also has authority: “in Rus’, they ate meat only once a month, and 95% of the diet was plant foods. At the same time, our ancestors were healthy and strong, and therefore there is no reason to put meat at the forefront.

Friends and acquaintances can also help. If your loved ones have friends (preferably their generation) who are positive about vegetarianism, ask them to comment on eating plant foods and avoiding meat. The more people and facts for you, the easier and faster you will be able to achieve recognition of your choice.

Technique Two: Skip the attack past you

You will be attacked: trying to convince you to eat meat, perhaps crushing with emotions. It is even more difficult to hear someone said with resentment: “I tried, I cooked, but you don’t even try!” – one of the examples of everyday manipulation of emotions in order to make you feel guilty. The second trick is to skip manipulations by. Move away from the line of attack: vividly imagine that all influences directed at you pass by. You can mentally say the formula: “These attacks pass by, I remain calm and protected.” If you are standing, you can literally take a small step to the side. This technique will help you stay calm, and in a state where words do not hurt you, it will be easier to defend your beliefs.

Technique three: Use the strength of the enemy

The strength of the opponent is in his words and voice. In a conflict situation, people usually raise it, and they choose harsh words. If you raise your voice, answer calmly and deploy the power of words against the attacker: “I do not agree to speak in raised tones. While you are screaming, I will be silent. If you are bombarded with words and not allowed to answer, say: “You do not allow you to speak – stop and listen to me!” And the more calmly you say it, the stronger the effect will be. You may think this won’t work. You may have even tried and it didn’t work for you. Indeed, it often does not work out the first time – the effectiveness depends on how calmly and confidently you will do everything.

Technique Four: Control your distance

Feel free to build a dialogue. Sometimes it makes sense to temporarily break the distance so as not to allow significant harm to be done to you. During a tense conversation, take a breather to recuperate. The retreat can be quite short, for example, go to wash in the bathroom for a minute. Let the water wash away the tension, take a few deep breaths and long exhalations. Then come back and continue the conversation. Or you can take a longer break, for example, go for a walk for an hour, and when you return, in a calm state, seriously talk about the unacceptability of pressure on you.

Technique Five: The Principle of Refusal to Fight

Do not fight those who force meat on you. Don’t let yourself get bogged down in the claims that are made against you. Agree with them, but stay where you are, say, “I understand why you are unhappy, but my choice remains the same.” Be like water, which accepts everything, but remains itself. With your calmness and endurance, extinguish the ardor of those who are trying to change you. Be a rock, and perceive their actions as the wind that blows around you, but cannot move! And most importantly: since you have given up meat, have chosen the path of moral and spiritual growth, you should understand that your loved ones are trying to force you to eat animal protein only out of good intentions, as they believe. And your task is to look at it from the point of view of a conscious person, try to accept and understand their behavior.

These techniques work, but the degree of their effectiveness depends on the skill of their application, so practice them regularly. Soon you will master them to such an extent that no one will be able to impose on you what to eat. No matter how difficult it is, believe in yourself, and you will be able to defend your opinion.


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