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Share any tips or ideas that you have which make living with dyspraxia easier.(Please start a new thread for each tip)
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Eating In Front Of People

Sat Mar 22, 2008 11:41 pm

Ok, so I'm not as bad with it as I used to be but eating out in front of people tends to be a bit of a problem with me.

Y'know when you go out with a lot of family or friends or work colleagues (etc) for a meal to a restaurant or bar or somwhere. I get really really nervous beforehand. Then when I eat, I find I cant swallow and start feeling like I'm going to be sick.

Its worse, I find, when I sit beside people who talk to me a lot or constantly ask me how my food is. But sitting in silence while I eat is not really possible and a bit ant-social, I guess.

Due to this, I tend to stick to plain, easy-to-eat stuff like fish and chips and it gets really boring not being able to eat what you'd really like.

Does anyone have the same problem and does anyone have any advice for me.

Thanks

Sun Mar 23, 2008 2:24 pm

Yes, I have the same problem as you. I am getting a lot better now but it used to be a huge problem. It was anxiety related rather than dyspraxic related. I don't know how I got better really. I just got happier and felt I had more control over my life.
I would still find it hard to eat in public in large groups or in some where unfamiliar. If I get a part time job then I am not looking forward to being invited for a Christmas meal, or something like that. I would probably make an excuse not to go.

Sun Mar 23, 2008 2:38 pm

I don't have that problem, but I know a dyspraxic person who does.

Are you worried about eating in front of others partly because you have trouble using cutlery? You could ask an occupational therapist to get you some special cutlery, or buy some here:

http://www.euromedical.co.uk/products.a ... 1&section=

How bad is your fear? Do you think it would be worth getting counselling.

Sun Mar 23, 2008 7:06 pm

Creative wrote:Yes, I have the same problem as you. I am getting a lot better now but it used to be a huge problem. It was anxiety related rather than dyspraxic related. I don't know how I got better really. I just got happier and felt I had more control over my life.
I would still find it hard to eat in public in large groups or in some where unfamiliar. If I get a part time job then I am not looking forward to being invited for a Christmas meal, or something like that. I would probably make an excuse not to go.


I went to 1 formal Christmas dinner in 2006. I did not eat very much at that-I found i just couldnt manage and there was far too much on my plate (i am a small eater) and that just put me off.

The one I went to in December 2007, was less formal. We did not have big massive meals and that was easier for me.

I think its partly to due with cutlery and that-I find it extremely hard still to cut meat and the like. I also find it difficult to hold cutlery in the right hands. My dad still has to cut up things for me sometimes at home.

Sun Mar 23, 2008 8:34 pm

I have the same problem. I use special cutlery but can't use them eating out. I tend to be very anxious and worry that people are staring at me when I am eating. That anxiety then makes my table manners much worse..

Sun Mar 23, 2008 10:15 pm

I have this issue over eating in front of people. For me it seems to depend on several factors - physical space, place, whether I'm doing an activity at the same time, amount of people, who the people are, what it is, whether there's any complication over choice of it, how much I need to be saying at the same time and how quickly I need to do it. I have some really good friends who I just can't eat in front of!

Sometimes if I'm at a table on my own it cancels it out. I've had to adapt to some very unusual places to eat through not being able to do it with others!

Sun Mar 23, 2008 10:27 pm

I tend to dropout out going to a restaurant with anyone. I really hate it when my food goes everywhere and people are trying hard not to be embrassed or not laugh, when laughing at times would probably be best as they would say something or laugh if it was anyone else. Then i am sensitive and would probably get annoyed the other way as well. So its a no win situation for me.

So i have no advise lol

Sun Mar 23, 2008 11:24 pm

I'm always uncomfortable eating in front of people. I really hate going to restaurants and have lunches with friends.
Last edited by Remus on Thu Apr 22, 2010 10:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Mon Mar 24, 2008 12:59 pm

pinkparrot wrote:I have this issue over eating in front of people. For me it seems to depend on several factors - physical space, place, whether I'm doing an activity at the same time, amount of people, who the people are, what it is, whether there's any complication over choice of it, how much I need to be saying at the same time and how quickly I need to do it. I have some really good friends who I just can't eat in front of!

Sometimes if I'm at a table on my own it cancels it out. I've had to adapt to some very unusual places to eat through not being able to do it with others!


One of these unusual places being the toilet at my church. ;)

I used to get nervous about eating in front of people because I was such a messy eater. People at school could be quite blunt about it. I would get stressed and upset when my boarding house roommates started criticising my table manners and telling me how to hold a knife and fork in front of everybody in the room. It made me reluctant to eat food in public, and I use to sneak things out of the kitchen into the privacy of my own room. I was recovering from an eating disorder at the time. This did not help.

Now I don't really care. I was out and about in Newcastle with Danni recently, eating a hot dog. (We were there for Danni's psychological assessment.) Danni said in amused tones, "You've got tomato sauce all over your face!" and I just laughed, cleaning off the sauce at the earliest opportunity. Once that would have made me anxious. It doesn't any more - squeamish people should just look away when I'm eating. ;)

I have the cutlery set that Esther linked to. It does help. I would recommend it to anyone here who has trouble with eating neatly.

Thu Feb 12, 2009 5:47 pm

I too have problems with eating in public

When I am in college and its lunchtime we have two cafeterias both get really busy and full of people.
I find that I cannot eat at all because I keep thinking people are watching me and if I hear laughing I start to panic because I think they are laughing at my eating.
I can't even eat out side in quieter areas because people walk past and I feel worse

My solution is very stupid: not eat at lunch at all :o
I just can't eat in front of people :(

Thu Feb 12, 2009 6:07 pm

Can you eat with good friends ? I'm very sad when I'm alone for lunch at the cafeteria, at school. It is scary, somehow '_' because I imagine that people are making fun of me by saying that I eat alone and I have no friends ! And if I miss my mouth or something like that it's more stressful !
But when I am with my friend I feel very fine and if I screw up something we laugh about it and that's all ^^

Thu Feb 12, 2009 6:23 pm

Miwa wrote:Can you eat with good friends ? I'm very sad when I'm alone for lunch at the cafeteria, at school. It is scary, somehow '_' because I imagine that people are making fun of me by saying that I eat alone and I have no friends ! And if I miss my mouth or something like that it's more stressful !
But when I am with my friend I feel very fine and if I screw up something we laugh about it and that's all ^^


I think that if I see people thats when I have my eating issues

is that the same for other people?

Thu Feb 12, 2009 7:37 pm

I have issues like these too. I've only recently started using the refectory at uni, and I'm in 3rd year. I'm a bit more relaxed (but still anxious) about eating with friends, as long as they're eating too. If I'm the only one eating, I feel much more self-conscious. I'm like Miwa - I imagine people are looking at me, even though I know they aren't.

Re: Eating In Front Of People

Fri Aug 14, 2009 12:23 pm

i can never get my nife and fork right, to eat tidily and i tend to eat very messily. At home this isnt a big deal - evryone knows i dont mean to. When i moved to live in college i was realy nervous. but now, a year on, my friends know that i dont meen too and i just avoid eating stuff like jelly and sloppy foods like soup when i eat with people who dont reely understand

Re: Eating In Front Of People

Thu Aug 27, 2009 11:00 am

I can deal eating most foods in front of others. But for some foods it's really embarassing.
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