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Telling the person you love about your BFRB

It's no surprise that people with body-focused repetitive behaviors (BFRBs) fear sharing their experience. We've seen what the media has done with the disorder in television shows like The Sopranos where Meadow doesn't even attempt to hide her disgust. We've seen the comments that people leave when someone shares their story online. "I could never do that" or "Ew! Get help!" or my favorite, "This is disgusting. Stop now." But now you're with someone who loves you. You want to share this part of your life with them but just don't know how... until now.


Before I share a few different options for sharing your experience, I want to remind you that someone already loves you for you. It doesn't matter that you haven't shared this part of yourself yet. It's okay! This is a big deal! Everyone's journey with their BFRB is different and that includes the sharing part. The fact that you want to share about it at all is a huge step. You got this!


If for some reason they have a horrible reaction, don't fret, just play Ariana Grande's hit song, "Thank u, next" on full blast while they pack up their belongings. They're not the one.


Ripping off the Bandaid


Maybe the next time sharing about your BFRB comes across your mind you just blurt it out. No planning. No preparation. Just go with the flow and see what happens. They say that ripping off a bandaid hurts less than taking your time peeling it off. Maybe that can work for this too.


The benefit of this option is that you don't have time to think about everything that could go wrong. Overthinking and over-preparing can make it seem more daunting than it really is.


Slow and Steady Wins the Race


Maybe it would make you more comfortable to start sprinkling in things that have to do with BFRBs in your everyday life. Maybe you start sharing BFRB content on your Instagram stories or watch Amy Schumer's, Life & Beth together. Slowly but surely you are introducing your loved one to your experience without saying it out loud—for now.


The benefit of this option is you are giving your loved one exposure to BFRBs so when you do decide to tell them they have a bit of an idea of what you're talking about. It won't feel like you're jumping into an icy cold pond but instead slowly entering a warm bath.


I'm Prepared for You to Read This!


Maybe preparing for something gives you the most comfort. If that is the case, practice what and how you would like to share and bring reinforcements. Search the internet for information that you feel adequately explains your BFRB. Print them out! After you share your experience with your loved one, allow them time to read the information you printed out about the disorder. Sometimes people prefer their loved one to not ask questions until after they've read the information because their question may be answered.


The benefit of this option is there are little to no surprises. You know what you're going to say and how you're going to say it. You have printed out information that supports you. Your loved one has a question? Great, you assumed that and have an answer ready. You've prepared so thoroughly that the idea of feeling like a deer in the headlights doesn't once cross your mind.


Mina and Enza Photography

No matter what option you choose, it is amazing that you are sharing your experience at all! It can be really scary at first but I promise you it is worth it. Ask anyone in the BFRB community about the moment they decided to share and you'll see their face light up! After I shared mine I felt so much lighter—I didn't realize just how heavy it was to carry all of this around by myself. I guess I was just used to the extra weight. But now that I've shared with someone who loves me for me, I'm not only relieved of all the weight I was carrying inside, I am now supported in ways that also benefit my BFRB. So take that first step, whenever you're ready. We're all rooting for you.

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