View Full Version : eating out in public

24-10-06, 11:55

I have a phobia about eating out in public. My sister is getting married next month and it will involve a sit down meal and i am already getting myself into a right state about it and still have another 4 weeks.

Ive already said im not going on her hen night as that involves a sit down meal, and its 2 days b4 the wedding so i cant b doing both in one week, so i thought if i can concentrate on getting the wedding itself it will give me one less thing to worry about.

I feel so alone in this and its hard to explain y i feel like this i cant think of reason or even wot i worry about, i just cant do it.

Josie x

24-10-06, 12:11
hi josie

do you know if it is because you feel like people are looking at you when you're eating?

At the wedding, nobody will be focusing on you and what you are eating. On my wedding day i hardly ate anything at the meal, not because i wasnt hungry, but just because i was feeling really hyper and there was so much going on.

Everyone will be so busy having their own meals and talking and paying attention to speeches etc. nobody will even notice if you are eating or not. So maybe it would be best to tell yourself that you dont really need to eat if you dont want to and that you will just push the food around your plate a bit. If you kind of give yourself permission to not eat, then that might make you feel less anxious about it, and then on the day, if you feel like it you might want to eat something, you might not. It might be worth even taking a sandwich or something with you and going off somewhere quiet after the meal so you don't feel really hungry.

Does your sister know this is why you are not going on her hen night? If so, maybe she could mention to her friends that you are anxious about it and you could go along to the meal but eat before you get there so you don't have to have anything in front of people, and then it could be like a practice run of being there at a meal, but without too much pressure, before the wedding.

This is probably rubbish advice, but it is what i would do. I think a lot of people are self conscious about eating in front of others, but remember nobody will be focusing their attention on you.


24-10-06, 12:19
i havent got a clue wot it is, cause the silly thing is i can sit in fast food restaurants and eat which i think is why this is so frustrating.

My sister does know that is y im not going on her hen night, my mum foned last nite and asked if i was srue i wanted to go, as i was told they didnt want to spend their night worrying if i was going to be ok, so thought best not to go then.

24-10-06, 12:36
I think strawberrie has given you some great advise.No one will be watching at the meal pet.Hope it goes well for you.

Ellen XX

24-10-06, 15:22
Am sorry you are feeling so worried right now...I so understand what you are going through, on two occassions within the last week or so , i have had to 'eat out' (not weddings though). As has been said, nobody will be looking at you, have an excuse, maybe a little tummy upset? I had lunch and just pushed it around my plate chatting away, nobody noticed....(make sure you have something filling to eat beforehand though...that's the hen night sorted...now the wedding.....although you are playing such an important part in this day, the main focus will be your sister, the bride.....again make sure you eat well beforehand, and push the food around a little, chat, smile and have a small glass or two.. You will be fine, this is a very common problem, and you and of course your sister, will have a wonderful time!! xxx

25-10-06, 17:28
Hi there!
I have the exact same problem as you!!!
I can eat in a fast food place but if I get invited to a meal I panic...
I think its the fact that its formal, that I will have to sit close to ppl and will have to concentrate on not choking and talking at same time.
I always end up searching menu for something 'easy' to eat, something that I wont choke on and I can eat fast to get it over with, even if I dont like it, crazy eh!!!!!
At least you know your not alone now...

Jenny xxx

26-10-06, 12:16
hi there ive always had this problem im 53 but when i was courting my husband i hated eating or drinking at his house having a cup of tea in a cup and saucer made me worse i would worry about all this before and that made me very nervous and i was affraid pepole would see me shaking .my son is getting married in a year and yes im already worried about the eating ang drinking its a night mare isnt it

26-10-06, 20:21
Hi, i've also had this problem for years, though I am much better now. With me it was always about the food/ eating at a table "trapping" me there, and making it more awkward for me to leave suddenly, thus more anxiety:(. I got over it (well nearly!), by starting off with easy meals like a sandwich in a pub, then harder things like a salad in a cafe. anything which I could bung in my pocket and walk out with was ok, but anything which I couldn't hide was a much greater problem. After telling people about my problems, I found things improved tremendously as a lot of the pressure to hide my anxiety was taken off me. I can now eat out anywhere as long as i'm with people who know about my anxiety problems, otherwise I just make excuses and won't go...Rob.

26-10-06, 20:34
Just like you and some of theothers I have the same problem. I hate eating out. I just enjoy eating on my own. Idont even really like sitting at the table with my family eating. Why? Ask me another one. But I get the overwhelming feeling im going to throw up. The more I think of it, the more my stomach churns and the more nervous I get etc. What makes it worse is I sometimes have to go out with work colleagues but I take the chickens way out and pop pills to givemethe confidence, otherwise I just wouldn't go out, or eat. Sometimes i'd just love to rub the plate of food in the peoples faces and say stop looking at me, lol (even though they aren't). It's just so stupid and so frustrating!!!!

02-11-06, 04:13
hi panic...i suffer from the " fear of blushing " so going out to eat in public can be excruiciating .....especially when there's ton of people that you know.... there are times when you just have to bite your tongue and do it ....it is for a wedding and they really do want you there so i suggest that you fight this thing( and i know you will) . just know that it'll last about an hour and you can go home knowing that you did it......good luck

Lousy Hero
10-11-06, 21:04
Hey, i know im sorta young and ive not been to many weddings but in my experience the meal is usually not the main part of the wedding. in fact more of a minor thing. Youve so much to look forward to during the day, your own sister it getting married!! :) such a good reason to smile and be happy.

Like everyone has said, dont push yourself. Eat before hand so you dont feel like you have to eat at the wedding/ hen night, but hey you might want to pick at something when youre there, its entirely up to you.

Like Carlin and others have said, the main focus will be on your sister and her husband, youve not to worry about anyone looking at you eating :)

Have a great day, youll do fine :)

Religion? Communism? No, Love is the Opiate of the People

22-11-06, 21:02
I do this sometimes. I agree with Strawberrie - try to remember no one is watching you.

Are you going with someone like a partner? If so tell them and get them to take some food off your plate to eat so it looks like you have had a go. If not - move it around until it looks a lesser amount then chat and have a sip of water.

You might fancy pud if you can put the starter and main course behind you!

22-12-06, 11:01
I have the old fear of choking while eating and talking, too. In evolutionary terms, it makes sense, actually! However, I am now very open with people I am eating with and tell them that i worry about choking, so not to be offended if I don't immediately chat away while eating. Most poeple are very understanding, or are too polite to point out odd behaviour! As others have said, I always eat a lot before a big meal out/day event, so it doesn't matter too much if I don't eat very much. Hope you enjoy the wedding - I am getting married myself in May and I am fretting about the meal!! It'll be fine, though - these things always are. Remember, the anitcipation is much worse than the event, most of the time.

22-12-06, 13:54
You are not alone. I also have difficulty eating in restaurants but can eat just fine in a fast food restaurant. I think it's the formality of going out for dinner that's the problem. I don't like situations where I feel trapped, and once you are sat at the table you are kind of stuck there until it's all over. Plus, I feel embarassed if I can't eat all my food 'cos obviously someone is paying for it. I have never really been able to overcome this one, but on the rare occasion that I decide to go, I try to have something simple like soup and a roll because it's easy to eat, and it's cheap if I end up leaving some of it. Good luck if you decide to go.

24-12-06, 03:29
I find it difficult to eat out with people especially hard are sit down meals I actually avoided a meal at a wedding by spending two hours sitting in the car cos i couldn't face eating[V]...Its just that you can only go to the toilet so many times until it becomes noticable so basically i feel stuck and feeling stuck causes anxiety and anxiety leads to panic and feeling I'll puke...

Advice: Try to organise to sit near an exit or toilet so that you can escape fast and quietly if you need to have a breather also have a glass of water as it helps keep your mouth moist.