The question was inspired by this:
I recently asked a bunch of people what, if anything, they would most like to change about their relationship to food. As expected, since people vary, there was a wide range of responses, all of which were cogent and wonderful.
I guess I had my suspicions about what issues would be most popular. I expected maybe people would want to learn how to stop eating when full? And, yes, that was a pretty popular wish. Or maybe, how to eat nutritiously (or, to use the phrase from Satter’s Hierarchy of Food Needs, “instrumentally”) without driving oneself bonkers? And, yes, that came up too.
But the most popular wish of all, the one that came up most often, was one that wasn’t even really on my radar when I asked the question – despite the fact that it was something I have struggled with myself, and something that was a key lesson I learned when I went through the Learn to Eat process myself several years ago.
You know what it was?
How to eat in front of other people.
By this, people do not, of course, mean how to put food in their mouth with other people present, or what foods they should choose when eating with others, but how to stop feeling so damn self-conscious about eating in public. Or with friends and family. Or with strangers at a party.
That's most of the article, though there's plenty more about self-consciousness around eating in the comments.
There's also a link to her pdf about how to eat, and a description of her services as a nutritionist/counselor to help people calm down about food.
I went ballistic when I read the article-- have people driven each other that crazy?
I've had a little more time to think, and I don't know whether that level of fear is typical, or whether she's likely to know an atypically high proportion of people who are troubled about food.
This has a bit of overlap with the religious questionnaire-- when I was posting about feeling as though I might have had a past life as a crystal because other people knew so much more about how to live with people, I was in tears. At this point, while I'm still a little misty-eyed, I thank the God in which I do not exactly believe that I've spent my life hiding out from normal people if that's what they do to each other.
From a classic essay:
Neurotypical syndrome is a neurobiological disorder characterized by preoccupation with social concerns, delusions of superiority, and obsession with conformity.
Neurotypical individuals often assume that their experience of the world is either the only one, or the only correct one. NTs find it difficult to be alone. NTs are often intolerant of seemingly minor differences in others. When in groups NTs are socially and behaviorally rigid, and frequently insist upon the performance of dysfunctional, destructive, and even impossible rituals as a way of maintaining group identity. NTs find it difficult to communicate directly, and have a much higher incidence of lying as compared to persons on the autistic spectrum.</a>
Edited to add: I want to underline that I don't deprecate people who feel self-conscious about the food they eat or buy. I feel as though they've been influenced by a high level of totally inappropriate social pressure.
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