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Old 01-21-2010, 08:51 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default eating in front of people.

i have mixed feelings about eating in front of people. i'm terrified of being a messy eater, especially if anyone is around to see. i hate the sound of chewing, mine or anyone else's, and i try really really hard to chew silently and with my mouth shut. when i'm eating by myself, like before my parents get home from work, for example, i spend half the time being embarrassed about eating. also, i blew off my last boyfriend multiple times for dinner dates because i didn't want him to see me eat. but eating in front of people is unavoidable. how do you guys deal with this?
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Old 01-21-2010, 08:56 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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I have the same problem, not so much now, I've found a few people I'm comfortable eating around luckily. My most common used phrase is 'I'm not hungry' even when I'm starving.
I still refuse to go to restaurants..
At school I'd never take food, and that just started the rumor that I was anorexic.
I used to be starving then get home, and eat heaps.
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Old 01-21-2010, 09:03 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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i can't skip lunch... i have track 4th period, and if i don't eat before i run i'll pass out. and since i usually don't have time for breakfast, that makes lunch even more important.

i just need to find some kind of like... mantra or something i guess. to convince myself that nobody notices or cares.
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Old 01-21-2010, 09:31 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Maybe you should try to eating horribly on purpose and see how people react. Then you will get a basis for how people really react when they see that. You may find that your perception is a lot worse than what it really is during future eating sessions.
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Old 01-21-2010, 09:35 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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That's harsh. You gotta eat before you do a grueling activity like track.

I have the same problem about eating infornt of people. What I would do was just look down at my food and concentrate on only the task of eating. Just block out everyone and everything and focus on chew, swallow, get out.
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Old 01-22-2010, 09:52 AM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Try just sitting down and eating on a bench on your own. I did it a few months ago and nobody cared or even looked at me. I still get anxiety in restaurants though, I'm afraid people will judge me for what I'm eating seeing as Im a very fussy eater.
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Old 01-22-2010, 09:57 AM   #7 (permalink)
 
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I won't eat at all in college, I'm starving by the end of the day.
I never go to restaurants with my boyfriend when he asks
I won't even eat at his house in front of his mum
Not good really but it freaks me out and puts me into a panic and then i look silly
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Old 01-22-2010, 10:51 AM   #8 (permalink)
 
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I don't know how to use fork and spoon but meh. (even if i do, i think like i do it wrong!)
what makes me worry is my xerophobia, when someone use tissue near me i freak out. i have to cover my ears, and it puts me into a funny position. so yeah, i have a problem eating outside with people too.
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Old 01-24-2010, 07:40 AM   #9 (permalink)
 
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I've had problems eating in front of people for 10 years. I'm now 24 and its getting to the point where its ruining my life.

Ive started thinking about going to see a hypnotherapist and have read some success stories with people similar to my problem.

Has anyone else thought of hypnotherapy??
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Old 01-24-2010, 07:50 AM   #10 (permalink)
 
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Maybe you could film yourself eating alone to see how you really look. I used to do this before giving presentations.

I eat very carefully and deliberately around others. I find it difficult to hold and use cutlery, which makes me self-conscious.
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Old 01-24-2010, 08:05 AM   #11 (permalink)
 
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hmm, sometimes I feel like just putting the k and f down and saying **** it im not eating. I simply eat in a seperate room, and don't care if it looks weird, I don't want a stomach ache for bolting it down.

I wonder, if we were more relaxed, would we be more hungry and eat more? And therfor be fuller, happier, healthier (not necessarily for the latter).
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Old 01-24-2010, 08:40 AM   #12 (permalink)
 
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Mine is more about people thinking I don't eat much and a fussy eater, not the actual process of eating in front of people.

I've got quite a small appetite so I always think people will think I'm fussy if I leave food. So I prefer not to eat in front of people.

The odd time that I can't get out of it (weddings, big family celebrations) I get so anxious I can't eat properly anyway and start feeling sick.
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Old 01-24-2010, 10:05 AM   #13 (permalink)
 
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People are always drawing attention to my lack of appetite and fussy eating. Even restaurant staff.
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Old 01-24-2010, 10:14 AM   #14 (permalink)
 
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Wink RE: eating in front of people

I have the same problem,

I have always refused food in front of my friends during highschool, mostly junk food, I am embarrassed to eat it. During college I developed an eating disorder and became anorexic/bulimic for 2 years. So now the problem is even worse. I used to have panic attacks when I had to eat in front of people, even dinner at my boyfriend's house, (at that time it was because I usually ate NOTHING). But now I have gotten over my eating disorder and I still have a lot of problems eating in front of people. I try to eat alone, and when I'm alone sometimes I binge (especially after I refused food at a party in front of people). I also have a lot of anxiety ordering food at restaurants, fast food places, even buying groceries, I can't go anywhere involving food alone. If I go to the grocery store alone I start shaking and think everyone is looking at me.

I am getting better since getting over the eating disorder but I still never feel relaxed eating with other people, I get really self-conscious and I always get so nervous that I end up getting a huge stomach ache.

I think that all of us who have this problem, need to be careful, because it could easily develop into an eating disorder, and believe me, once it does, you will never be the same person. Food will never be the same for you, and your anxiety will just get worse. So try to monitor yourself, accept a little food from people, instead of saying no (this way they won't think it's strange), try to eat in the most relaxed atmosphere possible, but if you are too upset just don't eat, you won't even enjoy it and will probably end up with an upset stomach. Mostly my best advice is not to avoid food, the more you are around it the more you will get used to it. Eat with close friends/family, anyone you are comfortable with, and make it a fun thing but don't focus on the food the most, think about the people you are with and their company.
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Old 01-24-2010, 11:37 AM   #15 (permalink)
 
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I've had it for 10 years now and nothing works! The only people I feel comfortable eating around are my parents, cos they understand.

Mine won't lead to an eating disorder, cos its nothing to do with my weight or healthy/unheathy food - I literally just get anxious eating a meal in front of people.

I'm fine eating a snack in front of them, eg a pack of crisps or a chocolate bar, its not actually the process of eating that bothers me. I just get anxious when its a full meal and I won't be able to eat much of it and people will notice and think I'm a fussy eater.

This is why I'm seriously considering the hypnotherapy.
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Old 01-24-2010, 11:53 AM   #16 (permalink)
 
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I've had this particular anxiety since I was a kid. Back then I was the only kid in junior school that went home for lunch. I eat on my own all the time, these days.
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Old 01-24-2010, 12:20 PM   #17 (permalink)
 
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Mine didn't start till I was about 14 so it started halfway through secondary school.

Have you ever thought of getting help for it?? Thats at the stage I'm at now, I can't keep putting it off any longer.
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Old 01-24-2010, 12:26 PM   #18 (permalink)
 
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I try to avoid eating in front of other people especially if the room is really quiet, that just makes for awkward noises like swallowing. Sometimes I laugh out loud at myself because it's ridiculous how much I pay attention to the way things sound. I always know in my mind that anybody can hear me eating if they listen closely. Luckily I'm not forced to eat in public too often. I haven't really found a way to ignore it or not care about it.
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Old 01-24-2010, 04:39 PM   #19 (permalink)
 
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oh man i have the same problem. i just don't eat out in public, or eat anything in front of people. waaaaay too afraid they'll think i'm gross or something, although i'm probably the most careful eater out there when i have no choice but to eat in a social situation.

it sucks. :C
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Old 01-24-2010, 06:01 PM   #20 (permalink)
 
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I'm weird about eating in front of people I know, not so much people I don't, although I'm not really at ease with that either. During the last job I had, when I first started there I would always go and eat outside, and only started going back to work to have lunch when it got too cold. Even then, I ate actually in the office rather than in the kitchen, and timed it pretty carefully so that certain people wouldn't be around when I was eating. Like the poster above, I think it's because I don't want people to think my eating habits are gross or disgusting or whatever.
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