I need help with dealing with some unsolicited comments that have gotten out of hand in the office kitchen so hopefully the EHell readers have some neat solutions for me to try.
Our office kitchen is quite small and often a couple of people will be hanging around making meals at the same time. Generally conversation is limited to ‘that looks nice’ or ‘that smells good’ for the sake of politeness but lately this one man, who I do not work directly with or even know the name of, will come in and start commenting on other people’s food.
It started off general but now he has started to editorialize a bit, saying things like, “Why do you always have to be so healthy?”, or, “Is that all you are going to eat?” Recently he told me that my egg salad sandwich, veggie sticks and mixed salad didn’t have enough protein in it and I shouldn’t be eating a plate full of carbs.
As someone who enjoys healthy food and is very conscious of what I eat I find his unsolicited comments annoying, invasive and rude but I can tell he’s just trying to make conversation. I feel compelled to be polite and end up trying justify all my meals to him to make him go away. Is there any way I can avoid having to verbally deconstruct my meal when I’m just trying to prepare it? 0224-13
This falls into the category of “letting it slide off my back like water off a duck”. My ego and self perception is not intrinsically tied to what I eat and therefore negative comments about my food have no impact whatsoever on my state of mind or comfort level. I would ignore his comments totally since they have no bearing on whether I would eat my lunch or not. Engaging him in any way would have the effect of encouraging further comments but no response, how defensive you feel, will have send the message that you are not interested in discussing the contents of your meal with him. Unless he is utterly obtuse, he should eventually get the message since it is pretty hard to have a one way conversation.