Dear Those Who Feel The Need To Shame Fussy Eaters,
I would be ever so obliged if you could just leave us alone and get on with your own lives without trying to awkwardly make us feel guilty for not liking various items which you consider edible delights.
I implore you to realise the level of stress which food can trigger in one of your so-called “fussy eaters”. The anxiety around eating out – especially in a new place – can be such that we would rather just not go. It’s not that we don’t want to spend time with you if we turn down the offer to come out to dinner, it’s just that sometimes it’s not worth the stress – it’s upsetting for all parties involved.
We do not do it for attention. In fact, you may notice that generally fussy eaters try to keep it under wraps. It’s not a shame thing, we just don’t want to deal with the reactions from people who think we’re being ridiculous. Can I help it if the texture of that food makes me gag? No. I can’t train my brain to like it. I would rather go hungry – fact. Stop forcing it.
“You have to eat something.” Clearly I do, I just don’t necessarily eat what you eat.
Don’t get annoyed at us for checking ingredients, or for sitting in a restaurant and asking if we can have a certain dish but with something removed or changed – it’s much more enjoyable for everyone involved if you know that you will probably like the meal that is placed in front of you.
“Back in my day you ate what was put in front of you or you went hungry.” I’m going to choose going hungry. In fact, I have chosen going hungry.
As fussy eaters, I often realise that we are perhaps more aware of what we’re putting in our bodies and how different foods interact – you can tell me just to take the lettuce and tomato off my burger but the reality is that my bun is now soggy. Did you even notice how soggy your bun was around all that salad?
While you think we’re busy being childish and annoying for the sake of it, we’re busy being overwhelmed with guilty feelings – we don’t want to upset you, we didn’t want to embarrass you and we really do appreciate everything you do for us but we just can’t handle -this food- and we are probably almost certain that you hate us now and will never invite us to eat again.
Be kind, be patient, be understanding and if that is too hard then at the very least try to be tolerant. If you can work around people with extensive allergies and intolerances or with morale or religious diets then you can work around us with the same level of respect.
A Fussy Eater xoxox
PS: a side note for those who tolerate and support fussy eaters – we love you and you mean the absolute world to us even if we don’t tell you.