How many times have we said (or heard someone say) “they just don’t get it”? That’s true. They don’t get it. And you know why?
WE NEED TO EXPLAIN IT TO THEM TO HELP THEM GET IT.
For someone that doesn’t have food issues, it seems easy. They don’t understand that we might agonize over going to a buffet or that parties cause us more anxiety than excitement because we are worried about controlling our eating. They don’t understand WHY we have food issues or what things are hard for us unless we tell them!
It took me a long time to figure this one out. I spent years being frustrated at how insensitive people were being, even though I had never told them what I needed. It seems so basic, but it is so hard to do. I don’t know if I was embarrassed to talk about my issues or what. Clearly, people already knew I had food issues if I was 100 pounds overweight and going to WW!! It wasn’t a big secret, so why couldn’t I talk about it freely?
I have a co-worker who used to come to talk to me while eating, often while eating a donut. Donuts are like my biggest weakness, so I usually try to avoid them. One day I finally just said (very nicely), “why must you talk to me while eating a donut?” Of course she had NO idea that it bothered me or made it harder for me to resist eating them. It is not something she struggles with, so she didn’t know that I did. It was a quick 30 second conversation with no drama, but it has made a huge difference. Now she comes to talk without the food, and I’m not quietly plotting her death! 😛
Seriously though, even if it is scary or uncomfortable to bring it up, you need to. Would you rather suffer in silence and end up getting angry and resentful? It’s not fair to get upset with someone when they have no clue what you are going through!
Also, keep in mind that it is not a reflection of how the person feels about you. Do NOT think that if they really loved you they would get it. It is not information that people just know until they have experienced it. There are so many different levels and types of food issues. You really need to just let your loved ones know what is hard for you and how they can help. Don’t tell them they are doing something wrong. Don’t say it in anger. Express to them that you are struggling. Tell them what you need and how they can help.
No one that really cares about you will continue doing something that makes it hard on you ONCE THEY KNOW it is hard on you. Stop worrying about hurting someone’s feelings and ask for what you need. It will be a burden lifted once you do it. Trust me! I suffered in silence for years. Speaking up feels so much better.
Check out all my Habits of a Loser posts!!