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  • Shane Kokas

Mind your own plate

"I hope that isn't all you're taking?" - Stranger

I had a woman question me as I walked past her at the buffet. "No, it's not." I answered her half laughing. This awkward engagement happened very quickly, but stuck with me throughout my meal and was still on my mind later in the evening.


This is a judgmental snap phrase, (more common than one would think) but the words before never really left a mark on me.


Maybe it’s because I finished a course about becoming more in touch with our mindset (Jill Coleman’s Mindset Makeover), or maybe it’s because this woman was a complete stranger. Regardless, this incident stuck with me.


Did the woman’s question upset me? No, it was just an enlightening surprise. If she asked me that last year, I probably would have gotten a little upset with her, or I would have gone through the same scenario above, publicly brushing it off, but only this time internalizing some feelings of frustration and self-judgment.


Why didn’t I get worked up?


What purpose would that has served? There would have been no benefit to me getting upset with her and then judging myself.


Jill Coleman, “This is about detaching from other people's opinions of us. Realizing that we cannot control what other people do or say about us, and to get ourselves worked up over something we cannot control only causes us pain, sadness and frustration.”  

Some questions that arose from buffet experience above:


Whose business is my plate?


 My plate, my business. Your plate, your business. The food I am eating has nothing to do with you and vise-versa. The food we eat only serves us, no one else.


Is this woman judging me?


Maybe, but probably not. A lot of the time people just say and do things without actually putting much thought into it. As the woman spoke, I could feel no malicious intent. I think the purpose was to intrinsically justify whatever food was on her plate to herself.


I would describe this situation as having nothing to do with me personally, but the woman projecting her insecurity onto me. To be clear, my conclusion is not meant as a critique of the woman, just an observation. It’s what we as humans do. We love to project. Whether it is the food we are eating, the exercise we’re partaking in, someone’s always got an opinion. There is more about this HERE.


In the future, if you could find yourself being asked this question or you’re asking a similar question, take a second and ask yourself, whose business am I in?

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