How to Deal With a Friend Who Doesn't Respect Your Dietary Needs
Living with dietary restrictions can be tough, and if you have a pal who doesn't respect your needs, it can be even more difficult and unpleasant.
Still, there are ways to deal with someone who doesn't seem to understand that there are things you can and cannot eat. Scroll down for tips on how to deal with a friend who doesn't respect your dietary needs.
Let Your Pal Know Where You're Coming From
If you've got a friend who doesn't respect your dietary needs, the lack of consideration could easily be coming from a lack of understanding. If you suspect that might be the case, feel free to have a candid conversation with your pal in which you explain why you cannot (or choose not) to eat certain foods. Chances are, once your friend has a better, more informed understanding of where you're coming from, they'll begin to have more respect for your needs.
Explain the Consequences
If your eating restrictions stem from serious (or even mild) food allergies, go ahead and let your pal know. Explain what happens when you eat certain foods, and don't be shy about how important it is for you to avoid things that you're allergic to. Once your friend realizes the severity of the situation, they'll likely make more of a concerted effort to make sure you stay healthy and safe.
If your eating restrictions are a result of a certain lifestyle choice or religious belief, as opposed to a necessity, let that be known as well. Though you certainly don't owe an explanation of your eating habits to anyone, chances are that if your pal has a better idea of why you can't (or choose not to) eat certain foods, they'll be more understanding and accepting.
Give Your Friend a Chance to Improve
After you talk to your pal, it's important to remember that they almost certainly won't change overnight. Instead, give them time to improve how they treat you and your dietary restrictions. Let them know if and when they say or do something thoughtful, and, if you feel comfortable, voice your opinion when they do or say something that can be detrimental to your health or lifestyle.
Establish Certain Boundaries, as Needed
If, after all this, your friend still fails to take your dietary needs seriously, go ahead and establish whatever boundaries you feel might be necessary. This could mean anything from not spending time with this friend during meals, to simply phasing them out entirely, if that's what you want. If your pal fails to understand why you have certain dietary restrictions after everything you've explained, they don't sound like a particularly good friend, and no friendship should be more important than your own comfort or safety.
For more friend advice, click HERE for lessons one of our writers learned from being a clingy friend.