Last week I was in a restaurant and I was reminded of the food test in relationships. At the booth next to me there was a man and a woman in their thirties who appeared to be in good shape.
Here’s where things got interesting. As they were looking at the menu, they got into a heated argument about what he should be ordering for lunch. He didn’t want to order the food that she thought he should. This irritated her and then things got personal.
Relationships Like Food Can Go Bad
Here were some of the comments I overheard. Her anger increased the volume of her voice it was easy to hear everything.
She said, “You never try anything new.”
His response was, “I know what I like.”
She queried, “Don’t you believe in eating healthy food?”
He replied, “I eat healthy food. You know that. But, there are times like today when I just feel like having a cheeseburger.”
At this point, when she heard the word cheeseburger she flipped her switch. You would have thought that he had just used some nasty four letter words.
The rest of the argument disintegrated into a tense situation. He stood his ground and ordered the cheeseburger. He got the food he wanted. They pretty much ate in silence.
Food Relationships—A Learning Experience
As I was taking all this in it got me to thinking about the joys of eating lunch by myself. Most of the time, I am with someone at lunch.
Today, I was free to pick the food I wanted and without anyone’s comment or interference. It is relaxing to make choices without always being challenged or questioned.
For the record, because I was feeling empathy for the man, I ordered a cheeseburger. It was my way of showing support and at the same time enjoying something I rarely order.
Food brings people together and creates a ready made social situation and relationships. I have also found that food is a great way to learn about people. More importantly, food and how it is viewed gives me great insight into others.
As a personal business coach I have found that food can give you a glimpse into what a relationship may be like.
Whether you are a self-employed business owner, entrepreneur, solo professional or an individual your relationships, who you associate with, can define you for better or worse.
Small business success and personal success are about having good relationships. Likewise, small business growth and personal growth can’t take place in the soil of poor relationships. Why is this important? One of the most personal relationships we have is with the food we eat.
Food Relationships: The Phrases That Cause Rot
Here are some observations about relationships and food.
• When you hear, “You never try anything new,” it’s not about the fact that you do or don’t try anything new. It’s about another person’s desire to control one of the most personal things in your life, the food you put in your mouth.
Are there times and are there people where they need to do this? Yes. But, I am talking about those other times where there is no need other than the neediness of the other person to control.
• “Try this just for me.” This is one of my favorites. When you have said “no” and you hear this you can be sure that this relationship is not about you. It is all about them. Be careful.
• “Just take a bite. It will make me real happy.” This is a variation on number 2. But something sinister has been added. Now there is the implied threat that if you don’t take a bite or try something as they have told you to do that you are going to face some major rage.
• “It won’t hurt you just to take a taste.” I have always found this one very interesting. The last time I checked eating what you want wasn’t about inflicting hurt. And, this is not what this statement is about. Once again, it is about the desire of someone else to control.
• “I know you don’t like-fill in the blank-but I know you will like this.” I always find this one interesting. They already know what you don’t like and now they want to force you to do something you don’t like. This is not a way to build good relationships.
There are many more quotations around food but I think you get the idea.
In small business as in life, good relationships are crucial to success. More importantly, you can have all the money in the world but without good relationships you cannot be happy.
Your relationships are the human food you feed yourself with everyday. Take a look around you. What do your relationships feed you every day?
If you don’t like what you see here’s the good news. You can change it. Relationships are like a menu in a restaurant. You do get to pick and choose. It will be as you wish.
When looking at the keys to success remember to eat well. And be sure to choose good relationships from the menu of life.
[author ]More detailed information can be found at www.businesskeystosuccess.com Created by Steve Scott. The definitive guide to a better business and a better you for entrepreneurs, solo professionals and self-employed individuals striving to reach the top and who are serious about their success.[/author]