Kim's - Valuable Tips, Ideas, and Insights to greater Confidence and Success

Click here to view Kimberley Roberts' bioetiquette, manners, confidence, and success go hand-in-hand Welcome to my ClassyTip for this week which focuses on:

- Appearance
- Behavior
- Communication

It is None of Our Business - Tip #32

Following one of my recent ClassyTips, I received informative messages from several of our readers on the subject of needing to restrict what they eat due to severe food allergies.

Although most people try to be helpful, at times this ‘help’ can create a very uncomfortable and distracting situation for the person receiving that ‘help’. Therefore this week’s ClassyTip will focus specifically on how important it is to properly handle situations when we see someone eating very little, selectively eating, not eating at all, or not drinking certain beverages at an occasion.

To help us with this, let’s go back to the basics. The main focus for any event is to spend time together, whether for business, social, or family reasons. The food and beverages are supporting characters, not the stars when we get together. But because the host and hostess will have spent a great amount of energy and resources to provide a beautifully presented meal, whether in their home or at a restaurant, it’s even more important that we not spoil the atmosphere for the occasion by inquiring into another guest’s eating behavior.

It is important to understand that when we draw attention to another person’s eating or drinking habits we are creating a potentially negative situation for not only the person, but the host as well. By our curiosity, or even sincere concern, we are shifting the focus of the event to a particular person’s decision to bypass certain foods or beverages.

Reasons for a guest’s decision -
There are several reasons why a person may not partake in the food or drink being served. With travel being so much a part of business, especially international travel, a person can be temporarily ‘under the weather’ and not up to eating or drinking at that moment. Or if a person is taking medications, she/he may have some restrictions while on that medication. And there are physical reasons that necessitate eliminating a food group. An example is a food allergy, which has the potential to be fatal if food is eaten that contains the offending ingredient.

Some religious and cultural traditions have specific rules governing food and alcohol consumption. Plus, diet and lifestyle choices that people make for their health can influence the type and quantities of food consumed at a meal.

Our behavior -
Another guest who appears to not be eating, or is eating very little, is still attending the event to participate in the occasion – to be part of the group and engage in the conversations. So when we observe someone who isn’t eating, we need to respect his/her decision and not comment or ask about it. It’s our responsibility as a guest to graciously carry on a conversation, just avoid discussing the observed behavior.

Even if we have a legitimate reason to know why the person is avoiding certain foods or not eating much, (Let’s say we were inviting that person to dinner the following week.), this is not the time to inquire. Should we need to know, we can ask at another time when the conversation is not in a public venue.

The classy person respects the decisions of others, and doesn’t question their choices; but focuses on a positive conversation with that person. After all, if another guest isn’t eating much, it allows that person more time to talk. So the classy person, as usual, has prepared good questions to engage others during the dinner party conversation.

I'm Looking forward to sending you another of my ClassyTips next week. Until then, have a great week, and don't forget to visit my Forum where you can ask your questions on 'Becoming the Best You Can Be'.

Kiberley Roberts ClassyTips

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