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Because we're in such close proximity and we share a kitchen, he'll see that I do things a little differently to him. (one example would be that I drink almond milk instead of cow's milk).

Which it seems is a trigger for questions, which then moves onto debate, within these debates, he seems to want to emphasise how "I'm being brainwashed" or how his brother went on a vegan diet and that's all he ever spoke about (which I can understand, some vegetarians/vegans can be very passionate), plus other things out the scope of the question.

But, I have no way indicated any interest in said questions (unprovoked), nor' have I spoke about my diet previously, except with the action of cooking in front of him (I guess?). He's just "giving me his honest opinion" apparently.

Anyway, the most recent debate he got quite offensive without realising it and I would like to cut the conversations about my diet off before it begins from now on. I want to do it politely regardless of any offence caused, we're good friends and will continue to be so.

What can I say to him if he brings anything up again?


Note: When writing an answer, I'm really not looking for your opinion on dietary requirements (whether you praise it, or criticise it.) I would very much just like to emphasise to my housemate that I'm not looking to answer questions on it. It just seems this time my diet is the topic of conversation.

Also, I'm normally happy to answer questions about my diet (if someone is curious) as much as someone who goes to the gym often would. But, I now know where these questions lead with this particular individual.

marked as duplicate by user510, Vylix, Community Aug 25 '17 at 21:43

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  • 2
    Have you already tried the it's not a diet, but a choice/taste approach ? Kinda "some people like pasta, some don't, some like haggis, some don't" ? It's just what I like to eat ? – OldPadawan Aug 17 '17 at 8:00
  • @OldPadawan I have, I've told him numerous times. "It's my choice and I don't expect anyone around me to follow suit, because it's their choice" – Bradley Wilson Aug 17 '17 at 8:11
  • Hey, come to think of it, isn't the answer to another question very much applicable here as well? interpersonal.stackexchange.com/a/1559/345 – NVZ Aug 17 '17 at 8:20
  • @NVZ I would like a more informal response than that in a professional setting – Bradley Wilson Aug 17 '17 at 8:22
  • If you want to slam him with Latin you could use De gustibus non est disputandum and leave it at that ;-) – AllTheKingsHorses Aug 17 '17 at 10:56
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There're two approaches depending on how you want to maintain your relationship. The first approach is the 'friendly dismissal' (and is the most polite and friendly aproach). When he brings up your diet just say something along the lines of

"Dude, we'll have to agree to disagree on this one. If I die from protein/iron* deficiency you can write it on my tombstone haha"

If he brings it up again I'd go for the

"haha Nice try but I'm not getting into this again."

As long as you say it lightly with a smile it won't be offensive but it's clear that you aren't going to discuss it with him.

The second approach is if you want to be very firm and direct and don't mind causing (possible) conflict. It goes something like,

"Hey dude, if I wanted to know your honest opinion, I'd ask for it. I've done my research and I'm happy with my diet. I don't preach at you, please don't preach at me."

The approach depends on your relationship with your housemate and whether or not you're willing to risk further conflict which, from your post, seems like what you are trying to avoid.

*PS. I say this only because, as a vegan, this is usually what people argue with me about, I'm guessing it is the same for you as you're also UK based. Obviously, I don't believe that I'm going to die of either deficiency but it is a good way to deflect as you are acknowledging that his views are valid but also stating that you know the perceived risks and are willing to go with it.

  • +1 I like the humour you have put into this (and coming from someone with experience in these situations), I'll give this a try if it ever crops up again, I don't want to burn any bridges as I have to live with him and I'd always like to take the polite route about it. Welcome, btw. – Bradley Wilson Aug 23 '17 at 21:25
  • Also, give vegetarianism stackexchange a try too. You might be able to part some wisdom on there. – Bradley Wilson Aug 23 '17 at 21:32
  • Thanks for the welcome! :) Hopefully it helps, I thought you'd want to take the polite approach considering you live together but you never know... I am currently checking out the veggie boards (didn't know they existed, so thank you!), I shall try to bestow my wisdom upon them also haha. – Ruby_Lee Aug 23 '17 at 21:39
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An informal response could be:

I know you mean well, and that you care about my well-being. But I'll be fine. You don't really have to worry about my diets, you know, I can take care of myself. :). So, how's (some other topic)?


There are many variations of the saying:

Never Discuss Race, Religion or Politics.

Diet is possibly one such thing. People often follow certain diets religiously. And they often try and convert people into following theirs, usually intending to help them achieve better health. It will be a never-ending discussion, and nobody can force others to accept their views. You have listened to his, but you choose to follow yours.

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