The instinct to want to protect our family or "tribe" is natural and important. Finding effective ways to communicate this can be challenging, however.
Remember when our parents would tell us not to do something they knew would harm us, yet we did it anyway and found out the hard way? I've been thinking a lot about similar things lately and this is what it reminds me of. More often than not, what bugged me the most as a kid was asking why and constantly hearing "because I told you so" or "because I'm the parent". Okay then. Don't bother taking the time to explain WHY I shouldn't touch the burner on the stove, just tell me not to and assert your authority. Then see what I do.
(No offense Mom and Dad!)
In my experience, people don't respond well when others attempt to "assert authority" over them. They may be parents and children, marital partners, or even supervisors and employees, but it is how you communicate something that is key. When it comes to sharing Paleo with people, I don't think we can expect to get many warm receptions with a "just because" type of approach. I doubt hardly any of us came to Paleo this way, either.
I like how you asked "Is food really that important that you feel like your quality of life is going to be jeopardized if you give up something as dumb as bread?"
This seemed like a no-brainer to me when I gave up bread. It was also just the newfound curiosity to find out what that might be like since I had ALWAYS eaten bread my whole life.
I agree with many others who have responded, though. It is usually best if we come to these critical decisions on our own. However, that's not to say we can't share positive experiences and helpful information with the people we care about. For me, it would almost be irresponsible or even negligent not to do so.
Be patient. In the beginning it's tempting to grab a megaphone and shout from the rooftops, but don't underestimate the value of preparation. I say avoid pushing, live the example, and casually share information (and perhaps good Paleo food!) when the opportunity presents itself.
Here's my personal plan:
I tend to stay off the digital radar more than most folks in my circles of family and friends (no Facebook or any other "social media" for me), so I've been working up to possibly sending out an email to everyone after six months Paleo as my own kind of "status update" in which I'm simply going to share my experience. I'll mention that I'd be happy to talk to anyone who might be interested in learning more details about what I've been doing, and from that point I may drop a link to an article or three every once in awhile to that same little "email list" of folks who I really care about. I've been documenting my progress and bookmarking links like a mad man, so by then I hope to be well-prepared.
I'm not expecting anyone to change their views or lifestyle overnight. I know I didn't. A little bone here, eggs and bacon there, a thick juicy grass-fed steak and some Pubmed articles wrapped in love, though, and that may just be all it takes for a few folks on my list. Others may require more data and/or butter, while some might just be resolved to the SAD indefinitely.
I'm not out to "convince" anybody, but I'll gladly share my experience.