Easy and EXCELLENT food rules! The first 4 apply anytime, then there are 2 gems for eating in the company of others. I originally published this around the holidays, as eating can become so loaded when we're also managing interpersonal or social anxiety.
Take full responsibility for your well-being as you eat. People will do what they do, and that doesn't need to keep you from eating in a way that nourishes you and feels good. Consider whether you want to say or do something to shift the scene, from naming the elephant in the room to changing the subject. You might even step outside for a bit.
If you know before the meal that there's a topic in the air pretty sure to create distress or discomfort for you or others present, you might ask all concerned for some judicious mealtime agreements. I, for one, think political talk—especially when people have, uh, robust opinions about the political hot topics of the day—is a very bad idea at the dinner table.
Note that items 1 and 3-5 originally came to me from Deepak Chopra in the five-hour audio program, Magical Mind, Magical Body. On a sidenote, this is where I first heard the term self-referral, though he spends little time defining or teasing it out. That's why this topic has its own chapter in my book Scooch!
Love & blessings, Jaya