Who is on your team?

This video delves into the complexities of personal change, particularly in overcoming abusive practices. It emphasises the importance of having a supportive network while acknowledging the challenges that arise when attempting to change behaviour. The speaker discusses the concept of categorising people in one's life as "red-light," "orange-light," and "green-light" individuals, based on their influence and support. Red-light people enable negative behaviours, orange-light people are indifferent, and green-light people actively support positive change and wellbeing. The script encourages self-reflection on one's social circle and suggests surrounding oneself with supportive individuals to foster a healthy family environment. It concludes with a practical task: to identify and engage with supportive people who will aid in the journey towards positive change.

A woman speaks:

Doing change work by ourselves is really hard work. When we decide to be different, then this can put us at odds with others. A critical question to ask is: who is on your team? The hard question to ask yourself is: are my team members helpful people, or not? Are my team members prepared to support me in overcoming abusive practices, or are they likely to undermine my effort?

I'm not suggesting that we walk away from our friends. I am suggesting, however, that some friends may need to take a backseat while you grapple to change your behaviour. Try thinking about the groups of people in your life like colours on traffic lights. One group are people who go along with our behaviour, even if it's just plain wrong. We call these people enablers. They help us to maintain attitudes and beliefs that support abusive practices. We might think about them as red-light people.

At the other end are our supporters. People who are prepared to see the best in us and support us to be safe with our whānau, our family. This group will not accept our behaviour. They'll keep us honest around our effort. We can think of these people as green-light people. They have the wellbeing of us and our whānau (our family) at the centre of their support. They can call us out on our behaviour. They're concerned about the wellbeing of everyone in the whānau.

In the middle of red and green light people are those that are orange. Orange-light people don't care either way. As we know with orange traffic lights, it does mean proceed with caution. Many orange-light people feel a bit lost around knowing how to respond. Think about what it would take to talk to your orange-light friends and whānau, and family about how they can best support the wellbeing of you and your whānau.

Your takeaway task is to grab a piece of paper and think about who you do hang out with. We know we're really influenced by the views and attitudes of those around us. Your challenge is to get a group of people around you: aunties, uncles, friends, mates who will support the wellbeing of a whole whānau and family, not just you.