My problem is people CONSTANTLY try to get me to eat. I explain my situation, but they still urge me to have “just a taste.” If I go to a party and shy away from the buffet, the host feels I’m being rude. Recently, my supervisor at work became insulted because I refused some food she brought to a work meeting.
These people wouldn’t be upset if an alcoholic refused a drink, so why are they so hostile to me? (Another thing that upsets me is when somebody dies an early death, these same folks say, “He should have taken better care of himself.”)
:Under Attack In Arizona
Dear Under Attack: For many people, food has become something other than fuel for the body. It can symbolize love, caring, acceptance — and when it is refused it can seem like a personal rejection to the person offering it. (Yes, I know it’s crazy.)
Your best defense is to remind your hosts, your supervisor, your co-workers and friends that you have a family history of health problems and are on a doctor-advised restricted diet to manage it. Remind these generous souls that socializing is more about the company than the food, and you are grateful that they understand.
Dear Abby: You give so much great advice, I’m wondering if there is a basic principle you abide by in order to help guide you when giving advice.
Dear Curious: I hadn’t really thought about it, but I suppose it’s something like this: Show up for work ready to put forth my best effort. Be honest enough to admit that not everyone agrees with me or that I’m sometimes wrong. Tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Don’t pull any punches, don’t preach and always try to be succinct.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.