What Should I Say
Tips for Talking to a Friend Who May Be
Struggling with an Eating Disorder
are worried about your friend's eating behaviors or attitudes, then it is
appropriate for you to express your concerns to her in a loving and supportive
way. It is important to handle these issues with honesty and respect. It is also
important to discuss your worries early on, rather than waiting until your
friend has endured many of the damaging physical and emotional effects of eating
In a private and relaxed setting, talk
to your friend in a calm and caring way about
the specific things you have seen or felt that have made you worry.
- Share your memories
of two or three specific times when you felt concerned, afraid, or
uneasy because of her eating rituals.
- Talk about the feelings you
experienced as a
result of these events. Try to do this in a very supportive,
non-confrontational way. Here are
If your friend has become obsessed with eating,
exercising, or dieting, she probably needs professional help. Your friend may be
angry that you are questioning her attitudes and behaviors. Your friend may deny
that there is a problem. If your friend won't listen to your concerns, you may
need to tell someone else - - someone who can help. Consider talking to your
friend's parents, a teacher, a doctor, a counselor, a nutritionist, or any
trusted adult. Your friend needs as much support and understanding as possible
from the people in her life.
cannot force someone to seek help, change their habits, or adjust their
attitudes. You will make important progress in honestly sharing your concerns,
providing support, and knowing where to go for more information! People
struggling with anorexia, bulimia, or binge eating disorder do need professional
help. There is help available, and there is hope!