By now, many of us have spent some time in a social situation this month. We had feelings while we were there. We might have had negative feelings at gatherings. We might have been uncomfortable there. This happens to many people. You are not alone in this.
Today, we are going to bust the myth that people in a group are always having fun. We're going to show you the top four difficult emotions that people experience in group settings. You will experience the joy of knowing that you're normal. Many people experience negative feelings at gatherings. Here we go.
The number 4 top feeling is being bored. Yes! Bored. This is quite understandable. Let's face it. People go to group events for the processed foods and drinks served there. People go because a group event is an excellent cover for using processed foods with abandon. I think that most people have some level of merciless cravings so the idea of going to a group and eating addictive foods, is very appealing to the addiction. YES!! At a gathering, we can act on cravings without guilt or restraint because we're celebrating.
Well...watching people get high on processed foods and drink is boring. Being around people who are bringing cancer, obesity, stroke, and Alzheimer's upon themselves because they're caught in addiction is boring. We're not codependent, so we're not going to do anything to stop it. These people are not in their right minds, so conversation is not really interesting, is it? Most of the time, we'll be listening to them express thoughts that are being distorted by hyped up cravings. It would be much more interesting to have a conversation coming from the higher-level ideas. That's where curiosity and learning take place. That's where expressions of true caring come from.
But processed foods and drink shut down higher-level thinking. So it's boring to talk to someone who's not able to use imagination and intellect at the moment.
Bottom line? We agree that events can be really dull when we're clean and thinking clearly while the people around us are swept up in becoming muddled by processed foods.
It's OK to steal away and curl up with a good book.
Feeling number 3 is lonely. Perhaps for the same reasons we feel bored, we could also feel lonely. We're sane and sober while everyone else is busy going looney. It's hard to connect under those circumstances. For food addicts, there could be other reasons that we feel lonely.
We might feel lonely because we have been isolating and we're just out of practice when it comes to the chit-chat that makes up group talk. Although chit-chat might seem like an empty waste of time, it does serve the purpose of stirring up feelings of belonging. "Hi, how are you?" repeated over and over helps to make us feel like perhaps someone does care about us.
However, if we feel empty inside, then these social pleasantries can feel really fake. They don't serve to connect us. Instead, they help to distance us from those around us.
Processed foods make us feel empty for several reasons. They wear down emotional processing functions in the brain. They numb out the bad stuff but while numbing out the bad, they also numb out the good. So the pleasure we might get from social interactions could be numbed. This would naturally lead to a feeling of 'What's the point?' It could lead to a reluctance to engage people in conversation. Thus, we could end up feeling lonely.
Does this seem possible?
One way to get back into the satisfaction of social interaction is to join an online group of like-minded people who want to express kindness while recovering from processed foods. Be sure to find a group that has lots of online meetings that are super easy to join in. Practice deriving satisfaction from people-connecting. Then transfer this satisfaction to in-person group activities. Connecting with others can be a source of great joy, but it may take skill-building if it hasn't been a big part of your life.
Feeling number 2 is Tired. We've all been there. We finally reach the social event, and the processed foods have exhausted us. Or we decide that we're going to let down our guard and go ahead and eat processed foods. It's a special event after all.
Processed foods can drain us within 20 minutes of consumption. Maybe we arrived in good spirits, but 20 minutes after the first drink or bite, we're tired on all levels. We're tired physically and need to sit down. We're exhausted intellectually and need to avoid having to gather our thoughts to talk. We're tired emotionally and need to get away from the exhausting hubbub. And we're tired spiritually. We've been fighting the food fight for a long time, and we don't know how much longer we're going to be able to keep it up.
It may be that we've been tired on all levels without really recognizing it. We've been running on fumes so often that we think it's normal. It may be that joining into a social gathering lets us relax enough to feel the exhaustion. It hits us hard.
It's OK to go home early. OK. Maybe we feel disappointed because we were looking forward to the party. But really? We don't need to be around that much-processed food and drink for that long. And, we'll have a much more meaningful conversation with the people we wanted to see if we make arrangements to see them in a calm environment at another time. We can connect on a quiet walk or over a brown bag lunch in the park. This will be a more lasting and valuable memory than trying to shout at someone over the din of a party.
Are you with me on this? Does it make sense?
The number 1 feeling that people feel in gatherings is insecure. Wow, this is so understandable on so many levels. It's so understandable that it could be normal. Here's how it works. We live in a culture where neuro-marketers are allowed to wear us down. Commercial messages are generally about how stressed we are and what is wrong with us. Neuro-marketers do this deliberately to set us up to think that we would feel better if we spent money on their products.
Of course, this kind of 'not-good-enough' advertising erodes our self-esteem. In more and more cases, the loss of self-esteem is becoming more and more severe. So when we arrive at a gathering, it's not surprising that in the face of so many people, our battered self-esteem comes to the fore and we feel insecure.
This may come as a surprise, but we may also feel insecure because a lot of people at the gathering are also feeling insecure. Everyone is exposed to neuro-marketing so low self-esteem is now an epidemic. Combining low self-esteem with the epidemic of isolating and it's easy to see that we could also feel insecure because our social skills are rusty.
There is a fun and easy fix to low self-esteem at an event. Arrange to get on the phone with a trusted friend before the event. Share lots of things that you like about that person and let them fill you up with what they like about you. After such an uplifting call, you'll walk into the event with your great qualities uppermost in your mind. You'll be happy to see people. You'll energize them with your positive beaming self. And, you'll have a ton of fun provoking people in to tell you what's great about them.
Go for it!
Today's bottom line message is to be gentle with yourself. There are many reasons that social gatherings don't work anymore. It's OK to avoid them. It's OK to go for a short time, see the people that you want to look at, and then go home with your reason and food plan intact.
We don't have to go anywhere that we don't enjoy. We don't have to please someone else at the expense of taking good care of ourselves.
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