Supporting your smoker: How to be an effective supporter of change

In this video, behavioural expert Sonia Friedrich explains how you can best support a friend or family member who wants to quit smoking.

For someone who wants to change their behaviour, having the right support can make a big difference. Mirroring and feedback loops are two approaches you can use:

Mirroring is when you become a mirror to the person you are supporting, giving them a sense of self by reflecting back to them that they are doing a great job and are on track.

Feedback loops are where you set a regular time to provide positive feedback on what's going well and what could be improved.

What to consider when you’re asked to be a supporter

When someone asks you to support them to quit smoking, they are investing a lot of trust in you.

You might be the smoker's friend, partner or child, but if they have asked for your support to stop smoking, you may need to change the role you usually play in their life.

This isn't something to take on lightly and requires your full support. You need to be honest with yourself and decide if it's a role you're ready to take on. You will need empathy, patience and a positive outlook as they will lean on you for emotional support.

What you say really matters as they will be counting on you, particularly when things get tough.

The importance of being a referee

If you do take on this important role, you will also need to be a referee.

This means helping to keep your smoker on track by helping them to set deadlines and small goals to reach, and then cheering them on.

By listening to your smoker’s needs and providing them with encouragement, you could make a real difference.

© Pfizer 2018. Pfizer Australia Pty Limited. Pfizer Medical Information: 1800 675 229. Sydney, Australia. PP-CHM-AUS-0489, 05/2018
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