dietSome of us have known someone in our lives that has an eating disorder. Whether it is a family member, or a friend that suffers from an eating disorder, sometimes we experience the disease as an outsider and might not even realize it. Their issue can have a reverse effect on you and become your issue which may feed resentment and disappointment in the self and hurt a relationship. 

For example, let’s take a look at anorexia. Some anorexic individuals that don’t want to eat may tend to push food on you.  They don’t want to eat so might get some satisfaction in watching you eat.  They may experience pleasure knowing you saved them from eating, and feel relief in refraining and not taking in unwanted calories. This can be hard on a relationship and lead to feelings of resentment and unwanted annoyance so it’s important to know they are not trying to make you fat.  Their battling their own condition so don’t let it spill over onto your plate.  You want to be loving and supportive without the effects of reverse psychology take hold and end in negativity.

Although such circumstances can be hard and stressful on a relationship, it’s worth addressing. It is a dicey situation that can taint a relationship if it is not properly addressed. So, if you find yourself experiencing the reverse psychology of eating disorders, talk to your friend or your family member.  Even though it is a sensitive topic, communication in such situations is crucial to both parties.

The worse thing that can happen is you gain weight and find yourself blaming someone else or pointing fingers when really we all are responsible for what we put in our mouth. Be aware of how being around food with someone that has an eating disorder might shift the dynamics of the relationship and talk about it.

Diet image available from Shutterstock.

 


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    Last reviewed: 25 Sep 2013

APA Reference
Loberg, E. (2013). Pushing Food: The Reverse Psychology of Eating Disorders. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 23, 2014, from http://blogs.psychcentral.com/manic-depression/2013/09/25/pushing-food-the-reverse-psychology-of-eating-disorders/

 

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