3 Ways to Get Your Support System on Board With Your Quit

Get tips for talking to loved ones about quitting. Read advice to tackle quitting myths and set boundaries.

Your loved ones, colleagues, and friends want you to succeed. Sometimes it may not be clear to them how they can help you quit smoking and avoid relapse. Three ways to get on the same page with your loved ones are having conversations, addressing common quitting myths, and setting boundaries.

1. Have Conversations

Having open and honest conversations is important before and during your quit. These conversations can be hard! You may be hesitant to open up. You may worry what others will think if you relapse or slip. Knowing this worry is common can be helpful to move forward.

Here are three ideas for helpful conversations:

  • Share what you have learned about nicotine addiction. You can also talk about common withdrawal symptoms. They may not know why quitting is so difficult.

  • Talk about what other things you have tried or are thinking about. You can also talk about what your healthcare provider recommended for you.

  • Discuss how your loved ones and colleagues can support you in your quit. Maybe you like supportive texts or distractions. Or, maybe you don’t want to talk about it regularly. It’s up to you, but it helps to tell them!

Maybe you aren’t interested in having these conversations. That’s okay, too! You know what works best for you.

2. Address Common Myths About Quitting

There are many myths about quitting that may come up with loved ones. Here’s how you can address them with facts:

  • Fact: Most people cannot quit smoking with willpower alone. Quitting smoking is hard because nicotine is very addictive.
  • Fact: Using medication may help you quit. Medication may help you manage cravings and keep you comfortable while you make changes to your routine. Talk with your healthcare provider about using medication (even over-the-counter ones) to quit smoking.
  • Fact: Just having one cigarette can hurt your quit. Many people fall into the trap of having just one and end up back to regular use in very little time.

3. Set Boundaries

Boundaries are the limits of acceptable behavior we set in relationships. They help us protect our mental and physical well-being. Respectfully setting firm boundaries around triggers is a skill you can use while you’re first quitting and beyond.

This may be difficult or uncomfortable at first. But, boundaries are important for strong relationships. Being upfront about boundaries helps people respect each other’s needs. It can also prevent feelings like resentment and anger.

Boundaries can look and sound like:

  1. Asking your support system not to smoke or talk about smoking near you.
  2. Asking people not to offer you a cigarette, even if you ask for one.
  3. Walking somewhere else if you smell cigarette smoke.
  4. Telling someone you aren’t looking for advice, if they offer it.

Remember, you are in charge of yourself and your boundaries. You can ask others to respect your boundaries, but they may not. This can feel frustrating or hurtful.

They may not even realize that they are not respecting your boundaries. You then have a choice to make. You can communicate your feelings, change the conversation, or even limit your time with them. But, it is impossible to control how other people act. Remind yourself why you set this boundary in the first place.

Final Thoughts

Relationships are an important part of our lives. Healthy relationships require time and energy. Open conversations and clear boundaries will help you succeed in the long term.