Why Won’t She Order Food for Herself?



Dear Dharma,

I’ve been friends with this person for years now and things have been going on smoothly enough for us. However, one thing I detest about her is that she finds it difficult to actually feed her own mouth!

She has a great job and she can afford a hot meal, but anytime we are out together and we are about to get something to eat she’ll tell me she isn’t hungry… but then when my order arrives, she doesn’t delay in grabbing a fork and digging into my meal!

I find this quite irritating and so annoying. She has been doing this for years now without me complaining but now I’m at my wits end. I can’t take it anymore but the issue is I don’t know how to address this without risking our friendship.

I love what we have together except for this one thing! How do I approach this touchy subject without us having a fall out?!

Eating Off My Plate

Dear Plate,

I’m going to start with the least helpful thing in the world, and that’s that the time to have said something about this was years ago!

Perhaps your question to me should read:

Dear Dharma,

Why on earth would I let something that irritates and annoy me go on for so long without speaking up?

Signed, No Boundaries

But since that wasn’t your question, I’ll work with what I’ve got, since it’s never too late to correct something…

How about something like, “Hey – I’m really sorry I’ve never spoken up sooner on this, but I’m really curious why you never order your own meal, but then eat half of mine!  What’s up with that?”

If you can pull that off with a bit of humour, I do think this conversation can go smoothly – as long as it doesn’t come off as an attack.  People seldom react well to that tactic.

But seriously, something to consider, right? Letting something build up doesn’t really serve anyone well, so maybe this can be the starting point for you in learning to gently speak up and set some boundaries for yourself.



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  • guy says:

    This reminds me of a “Friends” episode where we learn that “Joey doesn’t share food!” He did it right, saying it right up front, and not beating around the bush.
    Plus I can relate, because my girlfriend does the same thing, or similar, and I wish I had been more insistent to say no from the start. Now it is just something that happens, and I feel like I have to go along because I didn’t make a big deal of it before.

    • Dharma says:

      That Friends episode TOTALLY came to mind, I just wasn’t sure how to work it in… 🙂

      Also, there’s a difference between taking a fry off someone’s plate, and declining to order your own meal and then digging into the other persons…

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