Question: Dear Luise: I’m writing about a nutritionist that’s her own worst enemy. She’s beautifully trained and beyond that, intuitive. Her work is primarily in the area of recommending supplements. The problem is she does not want to be seen as diagnosing and treating, so she is constantly admonishing her clients not to mention her specific recommendations to their medical doctors. I just sent a friend to her because her teenage son was having a lot of physical and emotional issues. I thought the right supplements might help him. By the time the consultation was over, he was so sick of hearing that he should never, never tell his doctor what was recommended, that he refused to take any of the costly stuff they came home with…saying the nutritionist was just “too weird”. My friend wants to write the nutritionist about this. Is it my job to do it, since I sent them there? I’d actually forgotten that she originally did the same thing with me…because I just pretty much ignored it. Thanks for any help you might offer. Tanya
Answer: Dear Tanya: How do we protect others from themselves? We don’t. Why, because they won’t listen and any attempt at intervention could cost us, big time.
It’s often easy to see the mistakes other people are making. We’re not knee-deep in their issues and we don’t have their perceptions. The other side of the coin is that we usually can’t see our own short suites and we really don’t want to hear about them. We have our reasons. Well, so do they.
It’s possible that your nutritionist doesn’t know what she’s doing to put people off and limit her practice and income. However, what usually happens when you offer a person that kind of information is they go on the defensive. All you get back are the many reasons they are right about it. In the most extreme cases, it can be the end of a relationship if the other person is excessively fragile…or you are. (And heaven help you…if you’re both thin-skinned!)
We all have lessons to learn. We often call in and work on…(or defend against and ignore), whatever it is we need to look at closely. It’s our choice. Sometimes we have to pay a pretty high price for denial and the fear that keeps it in place…but it’s all set to our own time-table, not that of another.
Certainly, you can tell your nutritionist that her warnings put her young client off and stopped any compliance. Just remember that what she does with that information is about her, not you. Try to be gentle and then leave it alone. Some lessons take decades and some aren’t resolved in a lifetime. Simply put, she probably doesn’t know she’s her own worst enemy. If it’s part of her survival technique to tell people to “take this but don’t tell anybody”, she won’t see the double message there. It’s quite probable that she won’t let herself hear you, and will quickly make her teen client the exception, not the rule. Be prepared. Blessings, Luise