How do you go about helping someone else to do something which they deep down aren't sure that they want to do and they firmly believe that it will be difficult?Most smokers who are contemplating stopping look upon this task about as favorably as having their leg chopped off; they dread it.
Smokers worry about putting on weight, getting ratty and frustrated and wonder how on earth they are going to cope.Now, if you are the person who is their close partner, the person who loves them, it's quite likely that you would want them to stop smoking.You've read all of the literature about what smoking does to your health, the increased chance of cancer, heart disease and early demise, and you just don't want any of that to happen to them.
How does this make you feel?If you are a smoker too, you are in a similar boat and you can appreciate the ambivalent feelings one experiences about quitting smoking.But you also have to know that no matter how much you encourage them to stop, or set an example and stop first, or try to make a pact to stop smoking together, you have to realize that they have to WANT to stop too.If you smoke as well, or have smoked in the past, they will at least feel that you understand what is going on in their mind.
If, on the other hand you are a non-smoker, they will not think that you understand at all.They almost see you as the "enemy"; one of those people out there who keep telling you what you should and shouldn't do.How can you help the person you love to stop smoking when they act as if you are on the opposite side of a line firing at them?The answer is quite simple - don't fire at them.Stop telling them what to do.They will do it when they are ready.
I was chatting with a friend who was in just this situation.His fiancée had said that she wanted to stop smoking and was going to finally quit after 20 years.He had smoked when he was younger but only for a year before his interest in sport made him stop as he needed to have the benefit of 100% lung capacity, unimpeded by chemical inhalation.He hates the smell of smoke but most of all he wanted his fiancée to be healthy and well.
He hadn't TOLD her to stop, but he had made it very clear that he would LIKE her to stop.Well, that's what he thought! She didn't FEEL that it was like that - her logical mind knew that he hadn't issued an ultimatum, but she still FELT that he was "firing at her" in many of the comments that he made.He thought he was helping when he made a point of expressing disgust at cigarette smells and so on.But every one of those little comments, which he meant to be encouraging, was triggering an ever increasing defensive reaction in her.
And what happens when you feel super defensive?You snap and fire back - she started sneaking out of the back door and smoking again.And so the question remains about what he could have done to help which was more effective?What she needed was to feel that he was on her side, not the enemy.
How could he go about this?What he started to do was to completely stop commenting about smoking at all.No more comments; no more making her know that he knew she was sneaking out of the back door trying to hide a quick cigarette.Yes, he knew she was doing that, but he started to pretend that he didn't know.Instead, he gave her loads of hugs and cuddles and told her how thankful he was that she was trying so hard to stop...that she had done so well in stopping smoking.
Can you see the difference?He was making her feel good.He was subtlety rewarding her and reinforcing the times she went without cigarettes.He was making her see that he was really happy with her, which also made it harder for her to "let him down".He wasn't telling her what to do - he wasn't firing at her; he was her friend and lover.And she stopped sneaking out to grab a quick cigarette.
The only way in which you can help someone to stop smoking is to make them feel that you are with them; that you are on their side.You can encourage them to see and feel the benefits in quitting, and this makes it easier for them.Punishing them for smoking and expressing disgust doesn't work.
Roseanna Leaton, specialist in stop smoking hypnosis downloads to help you feel that this is what you want to do and to make the process of stopping smoking a whole lot easier.
P.S.Would you like to try hypnosis for free?Grab a free hypnosis mp3 from my website.