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I find it ironic (and mildly stupid) when people feel they’re at a social disadvantage if they eat differently from everyone else in a social situation, as if they have to conform to fit in.
No, conformity puts you at an enormous social disadvantage. Being different is a godsend. Eating differently can enhance your social life tremendously.
As a 17-year vegan and occasional raw foodist (I’m eating all raw this month), I know that eating differently from everyone else puts me at a huge social advantage. It makes people curious, and that frequently slides us into a conversation about food choices.
That by itself is pretty frakkin boring for me (and insanely predictable). However, that opening can be quickly transitioned towards talking about other aspects of personal growth and exploration, such as by asking someone, “So where do you tend to violate social expectations in your life?” Then you can find out some pretty interesting things about people. You can even bond over your different differences.
Best of all, people will remember you more easily. They’ll forget everyone else who eats like they’d expect. But you’ll be memorized.
If you eat differently than other people in your social circles, own that. Be proud of your conscious choice. See it for the huge advantage it truly is.
Don’t use social pressure as an excuse not to improve your food choices. That’s dumb. And definitely don’t use your food choices as an excuse to avoid socializing. That’s dumb too.