How to reverse the food pusher

Is your boyfriend, girlfriend, other friend, family member, or significant other pushing food? Has anyone ever felt guilty about eating saying to you “I’ve been cooking all day making this meal”? You say try this, try that? Is that all you are eating?

Saying No, thank you should be enough, but often a food merchant has already put a few tablespoons of your food on your plate even before you can even see the food that you already have on your plate. Sometimes an overzealous tablemate will over-order each plate and ask for extra forks and spoons for everyone. By doing this, they become not just yours but everyone else’s food pusher. In fact, someone approached my mouth with a fork full of food while saying Open wide! When someone is trying to control what you eat, they may also be trying to control you. What do you do when this happens?

You may need a new language to reject food without disparaging your love or friendship. Saying no thanks, I’m fine may not always be enough. Sometimes you have to reach out while rejecting incoming food; a double hit of a verbal declaration with a physical action could be the perfect recipe for warding off your pusher.

How to roll back the pusher: A few things to say:

1. No thanks, I’m fine.

2. No thanks, I’m fine.

3. Nothing for me, but go ahead.

4. I don’t want it. (I do not like.)

5. I’m just not hungry.

6. I had a great lunch.

7. I’m fine.

8. It is too much food for me; I am a small person.

9. I’ve had enough.

10. Try some of mine. (changing roles)

11. I have to eat with __________ later.

12. I’ll eat some and the rest in a doggie bag.

13. Go ahead, eat and I’ll keep you company.

14. I am enjoying sitting here with you and relaxing while I eat.

Some things you can do:

To. Ask questions and expect answers between bites.

B. Take sips of water before you eat again.

vs. Distract your pusher from paying attention to what’s on your plate.

D. Thank the vendor for being so nice as you smile and push the food.

Use any of the above suggestions alone or in combination with each other. I always tell others that if the plate in front of you contains pickled octopus eyeballs, chances are you will find a way not to eat it.

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