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By Gaelen Abt, The Style Sherpa

This one comes with a warning…uncomfortable truths may be exposed! Proceed with caution!

When someone we love dislikes something new or different than we have ever worn before, what they are most likely saying is, You look different; You aren't being what I need/want/expect you to be. I'm feeling threatened by this change. You might be changing, I don't want or need you to change, what if you change your mind about me.

Small changes can have BIG affects…unconscious effects on those closest to us. Especially the ones we've known the longest.

Through the years I've witnessed family, friends and clients says "my husband/kids/best friend doesn't like this thing I've added to my wardrobe" A thing they were VERY excited about and felt really amazing in. A thing that is different, because they were looking to do things differently, to see themselves differently, to feel differently. They wanted to shake things up. Mission accomplished. Except what we failed to address was the affect it would have on those around them.

You may have experienced this phenomenon or you may done this to someone, probably not knowing what you were doing.

When you or someone around you is growing, evolving, changing, making strides to be different, better, more authentic, it creates a contrast and not necessarily a flattering one. It makes the other person look at themselves when they might not want to. If you change, they might have to change too.

The best way to step into this is through honest conversation, assuming you have the level of relationship that can withstand that. You could try saying something like this "I'm really excited about making some changes in the way I dress. I want to try taking risks and consciously push myself out of my comfort zone and I'm feeling vulnerable. I would love your support as I do this."

I'm not saying this to discourage you from trying new things. I'm saying it so you don't let a seemingly simple comment on your attire make you scurry back to doing what you used to do. If you prepare yourself and those around you to understand how change has a ripple effect, you will be prepared to stand strong and confident in your new choices.


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