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Helpful Hacks to Set Food Boundaries in Your Family

Most families follow certain traditional recipes that are idolized. But every family has at least one member who dislikes certain dishes which are a favorite for the others. Now when everyone comes together at the table,, and someone frowns at what’s served, naturally,, the dining room atmosphere tends to become resentful.


Unsplash | People can set boundaries around meals to inculcate a positive change over time

Even so, you can’t force someone to eat something they don’t like, right? If nothing else, it would only cause friction between family members. To overcome this, Monica Kelly, L.C.S.W., says that people can set boundaries around meals to inculcate a positive change over time.

Let’s check out some recommendations regarding setting food limits that will prevent future misunderstandings.

Workout things within

Before you can ask others to understand your boundaries, you’ll need to be clear with them yourself. If you start accepting and following your own restrictions, others will automatically respect them. Butler Ozore suggests evaluating your restrictions by asking yourself certain questions like what change you wish to bring, why, etc. Through this, you’ll end up setting boundaries influenced solely by you.

Read – Five Questions to Ask About Your Relationship with Food


Unsplash | Before you can ask others to understand your boundaries, you’ll need to be clear with them yourself

Practice your conversation

If you’ve been brought up in a conservative family, you might have faced situations wherein your suggestions weren’t given much heed. If so, it’s high time you build your self-confidence and spill out certain facts. Before opening about your dislikes, practice the logic that you’ll give the others to convince them. It would help if you were careful with your tone based on how your family usually reacts.

Pick the right timing

Knowing which timing would be ideal to open up to the family is vital. Families are often very emotionally bonded, and even a small change can sound overwhelming. If you know that your family’s response will be emotional, you need to find the best conveying mode as well as the best time to do it.

DEARMAN tactic

According to the DEARMAN technique, you can learn how to express your needs to others without any difficulty with the following steps:

  • Explain the situation with real facts
  • Express why you want to follow that very fact
  • Stress how you want it to be accepted, politely
  • State the benefit you’ll receive if your change is accepted
  • Maintain and show the new you

Finally, if you’re put in a situation where they expect something in return, negotiate your changes with them. To gain something, you need to give something.

Read – DEARMAN DBT Skill: The Most Effective Way to Make a Request

Move on if things don’t work

If your suggestions are denied and you’re emotionally attacked, you need to decide whether you’re going to force yourself to follow others’ rules or walk away. It might offend and hurt your loved ones, but soon they’ll understand once you show them that you were right.


Unsplash | If things don’t work out in your favor, move on instead of posing friction with other family members

Wrapping it up

It’s always better to set boundaries beforehand to avoid hurting your family’s feelings even if their ideologies aren’t logical. Understanding your choices and standing up for them not just allows you to eat healthily but also grooms you to make wise decisions.

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