Walking On Eggshells

Struggling with walking on eggshells around your loved one with an eating disorder?

Walking on eggshells is something a lot of loved one’s struggle with. A loved one wants the best for the person they are helping support in recovery from an eating disorder. However, sometimes the things said to someone with an eating disorder can be more harmful than helpful. I will discuss below how to crack the eggshells that are in place if you are a loved one reading this and are currently walking on eggshells.

Cracking eggshells

In order to crack the eggshells, it is important to strengthen the communication skills people have. In order to master those skills, the loved ones must learn how to communicate. In order to become less harmful and more supportive as a loved one, especially in the beginning stages of recovery, they must practice. 

Another way to crack eggshells is ask your loved one about their triggers. In order to effectively support a loved one, it is important to understand what their triggers are. Certain subjects, phrases, or even words can be triggering to someone, and it is important to check in with that person to see where they are. When someone shares the things that are helpful in terms of support and not helpful it can improve communication between two people greatly.

Communication styles

The use of tone and style when communicating plays a big role in how it comes across to your loved one. Sometimes communication can be one of the hardest aspects of helping support someone with an eating disorder. Understandably, everyone communicates differently. Listed below are communication styles and the impact of the use of tone and more.


Passive communication can often look like avoiding conflict or lacking to share concerns or feelings.

Passive Aggressive

Passive aggressive communicators often become frustrated but lack to vocalize it. Behaviors like silent treatment, sarcasm, and others are example of being passive aggressive.


Aggressive behavior can look like being controlling, unkind, confrontational, blaming, interrupting, and more. It is really important to refrain from using passive, passive aggressive, and aggressive behavior when communicating. Using these forms of communication is ineffective and unproductive for a conversation and one’s own well-being. Studies have shown that aggressive communicators often struggle to accept fault and place blame upon others. 


Using assertive communication is standing up for yourself that does not violate or cross other people’s boundaries. Directly, honestly, stating your thoughts is the best form of communication. Behaviors like acknowledging both sides, balancing one’s rights with the rights of others, acknowledging harm that may have been caused, and considering the other person. Assertive communication is effectively asserting wants, expectations, thoughts and emotions. 

Improving communication changes things

Understanding the impact communication styles have upon a loved one is essential. In order to effectively support a loved one, proper communication and boundaries is important to establish. Feel free to reach out to Gemmed if you have any additional questions or are looking for support.


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