Our journey continues into Dr. Michael Arloski’s Ten Tenets of Wellness. Last time, we explored Tenet Two – Self-Esteem Is Critical, and now, we’re going to explore Tenet Three – Supportive Relationships Are a Must.

When you are trying to make changes in the area of wellness, who you surround yourself with is critically important, because these people are generally going to fall into one of two camps. They are either going to try to discourage you from following through on your goals, or they are going to be fully supportive and encouraging of your efforts.

An Attitude of Compassion

When you first embark on a personal wellness journey, you may be quite surprised to find that the people you thought you could count on to be your staunchest allies, such as good friends and even close family members (maybe even your spouse!) may be the very individuals who try to sabotage your efforts.

Although this reaction from friends and loved ones may hurt, I truly believe that this type of behavior doesn’t reflect their friendship or love for you, but is often done out of a mostly unconscious response to a threat they are feeling, perhaps to their own self-worth. I encourage my clients not to take these responses from others too personally in order to avoid getting dragged into a downward spiral.  It’s best to simply recognize what may be happening and then try to adopt an attitude of compassion as much as possible.

Friends Keep Friends Well

What you need at this juncture is to surround yourself with people who are not threatened by your journey and can support your personal growth and development, not those who want to sabotage it. For some, this may mean finding some supportive new friends who understand and likely embrace the same set of goals for themselves in terms of wellness.

Family members may be a bit more of a challenge. I think just being quietly consistent in your efforts without trying to change their minds or challenge them is the best route to go. Once they see your determination and the results from your efforts, they may well come around. Your actions will speak for themselves.

Joining a local group that walks every morning or meets at the gym are ways to embrace a new culture of change and be around people who value wellness. Facebook also offers an array of groups where you can connect online with like-minded people as well.  Some of these online groups may be local to your area.


If you’re more introverted by nature, a ‘group’ may be too much to handle. If that’s true for you, then seek out one or two people who value you, and will support you in reaching for your goals and dreams. In any case, even for the most introverted among us, supportive relationships are a must. As Dr. Arloski says, ‘Friends keep friends well!’

Next time around, we’ll look at Tenet Four: Wake Up. See you then!

Categories: Wellness