Social Question

jca2's avatar

Is there a good response for when people lecture you on your food or drink choices, or is it best to sit and take it?

Asked by jca2 (15738points) June 2nd, 2023

I drink alcohol only a handful of times in a year. I don’t smoke anything. However, on several occasions when I am out at events, drinking Diet Coke (my drink of choice), people have given me little lectures on the evils of diet soda.

One time, I was at a picnic type of party, waiting for my family, and another bunch of people invited me to sit with them. They were eating and drinking, I don’t remember what. I had a bottle of Diet Coke and asked if anybody would like some, and one lady started telling me how she used to drink diet soda until she found out that it “rots your innards.” I remained diplomatic and didn’t say anything but it rubbed me the wrong way.

Another time, I was at a holiday luncheon and I was drinking diet soda, and one of the people at my table started telling me how diet soda is bad for you. I think I said something snarky about how I love when people lecture me on diet soda when they’re smoking and drinking alcohol.

I don’t care if people drink or what they do and maybe they’re feeling like I need a lecture on the evils of my drink of choice. Do you think I should respond in a way that shuts them down, or let it go and sit there and smile sweetly?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

22 Answers

Acrylic's avatar

If you don’t like it, don’t eat it.

smudges's avatar

I think I’d come up with a polite criticism of them and use it routinely. Maybe even look for something on the internet because I’m sure a comedian has come up with something! Then use it as your standard reply. “I guess manners are just out of style, huh?”

I can tell this bugs you, and it would me, too, so I really urge you to find a stock response or two and use them. Here’s a start:

JLeslie's avatar

I like how you pick and choose how to respond. The alcohol and smoking is classic. How did she reply to your comment?

Some responses I would use:

- I’m not worried about it.

- One of my vices.

- I love diet Coke.

- Makes me happy.

- Thanks for letting me know.

- I’ll keep that in mind.

My mom would say, “the bubbles help me eat less.” She really thinks of it as part of her diet plan.

raum's avatar

I love having rotting innards!
It’s best with a slice of lemon.

[glug, glug]

Zaku's avatar

Give them a skeptical bemused look like you are slightly puzzled why they are patronizing you as if you were their child, when in fact you are an adult.

jca2's avatar

All great responses and ideas.

@JLeslie She wasn’t upset that I said it but I think it took her by surprise. I think I changed the subject after that to show that I wasn’t mad but it was time to move on.

MrGrimm888's avatar

For me? It would depend on my critic. Their thesis. And their presentation. I will typically give an ear, to a strong mind.
Motivation is paramount, to my reception of such a critique.
Is the person genuinely interested in my well being, or are they using this moment in an attempt to broadcast wisdom, or simply to make me look bad?

In all likelihood. My response would be universal… FUXGVN=00....
I enjoy pushing strong personalities, however. So. I would likely do something I would think my critc would deem extremely offensive. Not an attack. But certainly an invitation. The point of course is to see if they have situational awareness.
How important is your advice now, compared to when you thought it relevant?

If I “sit there and take it,” it means that the lecture is not worthy of my consideration, nor retort…

That being said. I have a competitive, if not combative personality. I despise authority. Any attempt to control me is met with quick volition.

JLeslie's avatar

@jca2 I think most people are in the frame of mind that they are trying to help you, not judging you. A lot of them might have been diet soda drinkers at one point themselves.

canidmajor's avatar

I agree that this is annoying, and I don’t like it when people do that. I find it sad and telling that you must have been expecting some pushback here, because of the first sentence of your details.

With strangers, I would likely simply raise my glass/bottle to the person and say “Skol!”

With acquaintances I would say (and have said) “Let me know when it’s my turn to criticize your choices.” and turn away.

KNOWITALL's avatar

The rudeness is something I personally will not tolerate.
‘Who asked you?!’
‘Get back to me when you’re perfect.’
‘Who taught you manners?’

I haven’t drank soda for two decades, and completely agree with the science and how horrible it is, don’t get me wrong. But unless they’re a doctor or are asked, it’s rude.

When I was overweight lots of people felt empowered to tell me salads were great, etc.. I had to decide to get healthy and fit, the snark was not helpful or motivating.

jca2's avatar

A friend sent me a link the other day about how artificial sweetener breaks down your DNA. I was thinking “well then I have broken down DNA.” I didn’t respond but I was thinking iti’s ironic coming from someone who tells me she eats big bowls of ice cream every night because she can’t resist it, has high blood pressure now, etc., none of these health problems are problems that I have, and typically I’m not eating big bowls of ice cream, daily, either.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@jca2 Exactly. One of my sister in laws was a fitness trainer and full blown alcoholic slut (cheated, left her kids, etc..) But giving me advice. Gurl, take care of yourself and those kids!!!

My husband is addicted to Coca-cola. He knows its bad and I won’t buy it for him, but I don’t fuss at him. Better than crack or liquor. Ha!!

jca2's avatar

@KNOWITALL Yeah, really! Leave me alone to nurse my can of Diet Coke while you eat your giant bowls of ice cream, smoke your crack and drink your 40! lololol

canidmajor's avatar

Or, hell, how about leaving you alone to enjoy your Diet Coke even if they lead an uncriticizable (except, of course, for that nasty judgement thing) life?

KNOWITALL's avatar

There’s a video of an old lady drinking Dr Pepper saying her doctors kept telling her it would kill her. She cackled that she outlived them both haha!!!

jca2's avatar

My grandfather drank large amounts for the majority of his life and he lived to be 86 with very few health problems, no daily medications like a lot of people are on today. We used to joke that the alcohol preserved his innards. It pickled him .

tedibear's avatar

“Oh, I didn’t realize it was National Critique Other People Day. Let me get the list I have started.”

JLeslie's avatar

Years ago when I was still a Cocaholic (the real thing, not diet) I was in NYC with a friend of mine who was Diet Coke addicted. We were traumatized that our hotel was Pepsi only. Lol. The first night she was already in her pajamas and she got dressed to go across the street to Stage Deli to get a Diet Coke.

When I went to the Coke museum in Atlanta I had to control myself to not spend more than $300 at the museum store. I bought my friend a Diet Coke outfit in addition to what I bought for my husband and me. The Coke at the Coke museum is absolutely delicious. Disney World has a huge Coke store, I love it.

The last three weeks my dad has told me 3 times that the artificial sweeteners in diet soda raises the risk of a cardiac event. He read some new study. I don’t drink diet soda, but he forgets he told me. I think he really believed nothing was risky about it, so for him it’s new information, and he assumes I don’t know it’s “bad“ for people. I say that knowing so many things are bad. I just ate a hot dog, which is horrible for my health. Everything in moderation. My husband drinks diet soda, and I’m fine with it.

I actually agree with my mom, soda kept me thinner in my opinion. I quit when I did, because I quit caffeine. Now, I have kidney damage so dark sodas are bad news for me. That whole thing about Coke eating your innards I don’t buy for one second.

I miss Coca-Cola. I still love it when I cheat.

I don’t see it as a criticism or critique, but I do think it’s annoying and somewhat inappropriate in a social setting.

SnipSnip's avatar

What you eat is your business. Knowing that should be enough to say so. Friend or not.

janbb's avatar

I guess you can’t really say, “When I want your opinion, I’ll rattle your cage” but the riposte does come to mind!

Incoherency_'s avatar

I’ve found that a loud, face-blasting belch works like a charm!
This is usually a benefit intrinsic to the consumption of carbonated beverages. ;)

RocketGuy's avatar

I usually say: “But it tastes great!” esp. if they are arguing against eating meat.

Answer this question




to answer.
Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther