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10 Irritating Beliefs That Picky Eaters Put Up With

10 Irritating Beliefs That Picky Eaters Put Up With

It’s a food thing. You know how everyone talks about food all the time? When people eat out, food is a major topic. For picky eaters, this is really piling on the pain. Now, if you are a picky eater, or you have a loved one who has this minor problem, here are 10 things people commonly think about picky eaters. It is time to give them a chance to explain a few things.

“I’m a really picky eater.” — Emma Roberts

1. They are just seeking attention

Many people are convinced that picky eaters are just trying to get more attention. The reality is quite different, as most picky eaters would rather curl up and die rather than to have to go through agonizing menu choices.

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2. They are just like children

You know how we always lump picky eaters in the problem child category? We have no tolerance for adult picky eaters. They shudder when they think of the confrontational parenting saying “If you don’t eat your broccoli, there is no dessert,” as this was a constant refrain when they were kids. Now as adults, they just want a little more understanding about their food choices. Is that too much to ask?

3. They are suffering from a disorder

Researchers at Duke University have now established that very picky eating may actually be a disorder which has been labelled as a selective eating disorder. Basically, picky eaters are just experiencing food, tastes, and other sensations differently from the rest of the population. Why does every quirk of human behavior have to be labelled as a disorder?

4. They do not love food at all

Picky eaters really do like their food. They are just being highly selective. We all do this. Add in a few cultural and environmental factors and you have national delicacies which may be viewed as disgusting by other nations. When we eat, our taste buds relay to the part of the brain (the gustatory cortex) whether the flavor is acceptable or not.

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5. They love telling us about their preferences

Most picky eaters I know would prefer to be swallowed up rather than have to explain why they are not eating a certain part of the dish. They also hate having to justify their choices on the menu and feel embarrassed when they have to specify that they want no sugar, salt, gluten, lactose, or meat. Leaving food untouched is embarrssing for them.

6. They were spoiled as children

Many people think that picky eaters were just allowed to pick and choose as youngsters. The opposite may be true because they were more likely to have been forced to try things or cajoled into taking two bites of everything — far from being spoiled. Now they enjoy nothing more than having a nice quiet meal at home, with no one offering advice or making unhelpful comments on balanced diets. What bliss!

7. They like being invited out to eat

Actually they do not, because the question, “What would you like to eat?” is a loaded one. There are undertones of:

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  • “The last time she came to eat, she turned up her nose at everything.”
  • “He is such a difficult person and is never satisfied.”
  • “She never compliments me on my cooking.”
  • “I bet he will ask for some rare vegetable, dressing, or spice which we just don’t have.”

Now you know why picky eaters love having scrambled eggs on toast at home alone. Greta Garbo may have been a picky eater in her desire to be left alone, but there may have been another reason!

“There is no one who would have me – I can’t cook.” – Greta Garbo

8. They love everything served on one plate

Picky eaters find this a nightmare. Their ideal is a DIY salad where every ingredient is in separate little bowls and everyone can add what they like. Now, that is democratic eating. If you invite a picky eater, try doing this. It will be love at first sight!

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9. They just can’t appreciate good cooking

In a society obsessed with good food, cookery TV shows, and recipes on practically every page of the web, it is no wonder that picky eaters are regarded with distaste (pardon the pun!). They are stigmatized as not being able to boil an egg. People assume they have no cooking skills and very few taste buds. But research is now pointing to the fact that they may well have actually more taste buds, which may mean their sense of taste is hypersensitive. They yearn for those simpler tastes of French fries, pizza, peanut butter, and hamburgers.

10. They are so difficult to please

If the charming hosts thought for a moment, they would come up with lots of ideas which would please even the pickiest of eaters. Simple is best, so if you decide to invite them, bear in mind that spicy foods are most likely out. Foods like lasagna, with its many layers and textures, might also prove difficult. Fruit salad is usually a safe choice, while boiled chicken with the option of gravy is usually popular — except for vegetarians, of course.

Look at these recipes for some more great ideas if your guests are picky eaters.

The best solution of all is to organize a pot luck supper. Coordinate this by email so that you do not end up with five fruit salads and one pasta dish. Bon appetit!

Featured photo credit: Eating chocolate brownie/Leonid Mamchenkov via flickr.com

More by this author

Robert Locke

Author of Ziger the Tiger Stories, a health enthusiast specializing in relationships, life improvement and mental health.

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Published on April 7, 2021

6 Signs Of A Controlling Person To Be Aware Of

6 Signs Of A Controlling Person To Be Aware Of

Some of the most manipulative people are so good at what they do that their words and actions can convince you into thinking they truly care about what’s best for you when in reality, it’s quite the opposite. The most common signs of a controlling person are rarely obvious to outside observers. And for someone enmeshed in a controlling relationship or friendship, it can be incredibly challenging to stay away from this toxic person, even if you’re aware of their emotionally abusive tendencies.

While it’s ultimately up to you to decide whether to preserve or leave a lopsided, unfulfilling relationship, it’s nevertheless critical to understand the following six signs of controlling people so you can better advocate for yourself and mitigate the influence of their manipulative tendencies in your own life.

1. They Push Their Own Personal Agenda

Do you know someone who always tries to micromanage the words, behaviors, and attitudes of people around them? Does this person act like they have the right to know anything they want about you, including your location, what you’re doing in a given moment, who you’re talking to online, or any other private information about you? And when planning events and special occasions, does this person dominate conversations, steer plans in their own preferred directions, disparage others’ suggestions, and refuse to collaborate with anyone who might disagree with them?

If you answered “yes” to some of the above questions, then those are clear signs of a controlling person whom you absolutely need to be cautious around. Controlling people are reluctant to even consider alternative ideas, let alone enthusiastically work with people who have differing views. They prefer to be the captain of every ship—regardless of how much or how little an issue personally impacts them—and they have an arsenal of manipulative tactics to deploy if someone stands in the way of them achieving their own personal agendas.

In long-term relationships with controlling people, you may feel constantly pressured to meet their demands, follow their schedule, and focus on whatever they feel is most important. It’s not an exaggeration to say that these people act like the universe revolves around them, which can be exhausting to deal with for their family members, friends, and colleagues.

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2. They Make Everything Transactional

Controlling people aren’t always self-centered, but they’re not too empathetic either. Empathy for them tends to appear in the form of strategic concessions they use as a means to get what they want. They typically view interpersonal relationships as transactional opportunities to extract more value from people surrounding them, which can have a draining effect on those they interact with.

For example, one sign of a controlling person may be their insistence on “keeping score.” This can involve doing nice things for you with the ulterior motive of demanding something from you at a later date in exchange for what you thought was just an act of kindness or a friendly support.

Perhaps they shower you in praise (also known as “love-bombing”) or gifts then blow up at you if you don’t intuitively know they’re expecting something back from you. None of us are mind-readers, but controlling people behave as though everyone else should think and act like they want others to and those who fall out of line are punished for failing to meet their impossible expectations.

A controlling person may also threaten to withhold support if you don’t adhere to their demands, but they do so in such subtle ways that the guilt they impose blinds you from the unreasonable nature of their behaviors.

Some statements to be wary of include:

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  • “I did ___________ for you. What do you mean you can’t do ___________ for me?”
  • “Remember how I helped you with ___________? That took a lot of time and energy from me, but I guess you didn’t appreciate my help.”
  • “I always give you ___________. Don’t you care about my needs too?”
  • “You’re so selfish!” or “You don’t care about me at all!” (gaslighting if you respond with hesitation or politely decline their request for help for perfectly valid reasons, such as not having enough time or resources to assist them)

3. They Criticize Everything

One of the most common telltale signs of a controlling person is their capacity to criticize anything and everything, even small things that seemingly don’t matter. As with many toxic traits in relationships, these problems typically start out so small that you may not even notice. At first, you may even agree with their criticism or at least be able to understand their perspective when they bring up an issue.

However, the criticism tends to get more intense, more constant, and more perplexing for people who maintain relationships with controlling people. You’ll likely notice how they rarely seem to criticize something they do. It’s almost always other-oriented and these types of people are so manipulative that any rationale they offer can seem plausibly legitimate.

Some warning signs of a controlling person who’s overly critical to the point of abusiveness include:

  • Criticizing things about you that you have little to no control over (e.g., appearance, disability, family)
  • Criticizing your personal choices and interests, such as educational pursuits, career, clothing, favorite music, time spent on your hobbies, etc.
  • Punishing you for expressing vulnerability by invalidating thoughts and feelings you share with them
  • Attacking you whenever you express an opinion counter to theirs

4. They Balk When Someone Criticizes Them

We all know the adage, “what goes around, comes around.” But this statement doesn’t apply as much to toxic, controlling people. They’d much prefer to dish out criticism without ever having to take it in return.

For instance, if your friend constantly talks about your appearance with little regard for your emotions but flips out if you make just a single comment about their appearance, there’s a possibility that they could have some hidden controlling tendencies left unchecked. Remember, these people aren’t just controlling in their behaviors towards others. They’re also actively trying to stay in complete control over every aspect of their lives, which includes how others view them.

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This seemingly insatiable desire for control can prompt them to lash out against even the smallest bits of criticism, leaving people around them too weary or scared to speak up again in the future. While it’s possible they may suffer from something called rejection sensitivity dysphoria, this does not excuse them from the consequences of their words and actions. They should seek professional help to better manage their reactions to criticism.

5. They Socially Isolate You

Not all controlling people do this, but for manipulative narcissists, socially isolating victims is a go-to strategy for maintaining control because it’s effective at preventing people from truly understanding how toxic their partner, family member, or friend is treating them. Think of it this way—if you don’t talk to many other people in your life, there’s less of a risk that you’ll damage their reputation by revealing their abusive tendencies.

Socially isolating others also gives the person more control over you and your life as it becomes more difficult to break away from them if you don’t have other healthier channels of communication and interpersonal support to turn to.

This process doesn’t happen overnight, nor is it something you can readily recognize as abusive. At first, it may seem reasonable, such as asking you to stop engaging so often with family members with whom both of you disagree on major social or political issues. As the social isolation progresses, they may suggest cutting people out of your life—especially if they don’t like that person, regardless of how you personally feel—or even conjure up high-stakes problems like “it’s me or them” under the guise of saving you from people in your life whom they don’t like for whatever reason.

In a controlling person’s life narrative, they’re always the protagonist who’s incapable of any wrongdoing. The blame is always redirected at someone else, whether that’s you or other people in your life. The more they isolate you from other supportive people in your life, the more susceptible you’ll be to falsely believing that they’re right and you “don’t need” your other friends and family when you have someone as perfect as this person.

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6. They’re Emotionally Abusive

It’s hard enough to be in control of your own emotions but when someone else is constantly belittling you and your interests or leveraging guilt and shame to manipulate you into saying or doing what they want, this can make it even more challenging to stay in control of your own life and emotional well-being.

Emotional abuse is another sign of a controlling person that is often overlooked in relationships. After all, human personalities vary widely in terms of passivity, and it’s not uncommon for one person in a relationship to be significantly more passive than the other. This becomes an issue when the controlling partner or friend exudes signs of emotional abuse, which can start subtly and become much more pronounced over time.

Concerning signs of emotionally abusive language or behavior to watch out for include:

  • Dismissing your needs and/or belittling your interests in counterproductive ways
  • Privately or publicly shaming or humiliating you
  • Making you feel as though you can never live up to their expectations or do anything right (according to their own vague, subjective standards)
  • Gaslighting you into thinking they said or did something that never actually happened (making you question your own reality)

Final Thoughts

It’s sometimes hard to see the negative things about someone with whom we have a relationship. We may sometimes unconsciously overlook the signs of a controlling person, especially if that person is someone we have known for a long time or are close to us. However, cutting them off your life is the best thing you can do for yourself. Just watch out for these six signs of a controlling person and take immediate action when you spot them.

More Tips on How To Deal With a Controlling Person

Featured photo credit: Külli Kittus via unsplash.com

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