The other day, my friend said that she has a friend who eats everything off the shelf from a regular grocery store, loaded with GMOs and she just doesn't know how to talk to her about it. Her voice was sad and laced with anxiety. She thinks her friend would be really resistant and wouldn't want to hear anything bad. She's a super busy Mom and just doesn't want one more problem to think about it. I could hear that my friend didn't want to upset her or cause a rift in the friendship.
Ohhhhhh....I could feel her struggle. I have shared about GMOs with thousands of people, but still have a hard time with a few people, when I am concerned about what they think and hurting the relationship. I got a bit confronted when she asked me to blog about what to say to people and yet , I appreciate the request so much because it really does make me think. How have I done it? How do I do it?
Here are a few tips:
1) Give up that they are doing anything wrong.
I really mean this one. We need to shift our thinking. This is not always easy to do. But think about it, before you knew about GMOs, were you doing anything WRONG when you fed your kids the food your were feeding them? No. You were doing what worked for you. And you didn't want anyone to tell you what to do. If you approach them like they are doing anything wrong, it's game over.
2) Be Curious.
Listen to them, ask them questions about how they are dealing with things. When they feel gotten, they will be much more receptive to listening to you. People who just start telling people what to do are annoying. People who listen are cool and safe to share with and we care about what they think. Ask them if they have heard of GMOs and what do they think.
3) Don't try to fix. Just Share.
Get rid of "You should try..." and replace it with " I really didn't want to even think about this at first, or know anything about it, but I found out about Genetically modified foods and I tried...." Share about you, not them. And keep it short.
4) Be Authentic. Don't be Rah Rah.
I am a very optimistic person and have the passion of ten people sometimes. But no one wants a cheerleader to be shouting and bouncing around about something they don't even want to do. Just be authentic. "Changing the way I thought about food really sucked at first. I cried for a day. I was pissed off for three. I still am sometimes. Sometimes I hate these chemical companies and I think about taking a blow torch to the cereal aisle. But this is about the health of my kids...and the truth is I will do anything for them...and if it means switching to buy different brands, even if it takes a little longer or costs a little more, I will do that. I want them to be healthy and be able to have their own kids someday. "
People get that...or whatever is there for you in your heart, for real. When you get present to how much you love your kids, they will too. Nothing is too hard when you are present to that love. Love is unstoppable.
5) Give them support.
Give them a NON GMO shopping guide. Send them an email with a few easy tips. Share a video with them. And then keep listening.Here are some tips:
1. Replace corn/canola oil with Grapeseed oil ( no taste, good at high heat) and only use 100% Olive Oil or they could sneak GMO canola in it.
2. Only eat organic fruits, veges and meats if at all possible. Especially only eat corn or soy/Tofu if it's organic. Replace soy sauce with Bragg's.
3. Buy all breakfast cereals, crackers, corn tortillas and snacks organic or NON GMO Project Verified. Nature's Path has great cereals.
4. Buy products with CANE sugar, not Sugar from Sugar beets. This is the hardest one for me. I confess I am not 100% here.
6.Email them short videos
Genetic roulette 10 min version http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TB5EBFUwaw0
Robyn O'Brien "Patriotism on a Plate" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T6WpMM1FR8g
"It's about progress, not perfection" says Robyn O'Brien. Be their partner, not their preacher. We are all in this together. The best thing about it is that we are all in this together and the bonds we can grow by Giving Up That There Is Anything Wrong, Being Curious, Being Authentic, and Giving Support, will make you so glad you stepped out side of your comfort zone and shared something that matters to you...and even if they don't know it now....to them too.