Have you ever heard of the phrase “you are what you eat”? Well, what about “you are how you eat”? Though it’s not something we give a lot of thought to, our eating habits and table manners actually reveal more about our personality than we realize.
Aside from their taste and preferences for food, you can actually tell a lot about a person just by sitting down and having a meal with them. From the way they were raised, to their etiquette and sense of decorum, our eating habits are a natural (and often unconscious) extension of our most salient qualities and character traits. With that said, here are 6 of the most common eating habits and what they say about you:
1. Eating slowly
Are you always the last person to finish eating or leave the table whenever you’re with friends and family? If you answered yes, then you’ve probably been told a lot of times by others to hurry up with your meal and eat faster. That’s because “slow eaters” tend to have type B personalities; that is to say, people who like to eat slowly prefer to live in the moment and savor every enjoyable experience they can. Calm, laid back, and easy-going, they like to take their time with things and live life at their own pace (Mõttus, et al., 2012). And though they are sometimes said to put themselves first and prioritize their own wants and needs ahead of others, there’s nothing wrong with wanting what’s best for yourself every once in a while!
2. Eating quickly
Next, we have the opposite type of eater: the ones who eat too quickly and finish their food in just a few minutes. Always the first to get up from the table or empty their plates, “fast eaters” are known for being highly conscientious and fastidious people. They are very disciplined and self-motivated, never missing a deadline or running late to anything important. Masters of multi-tasking, most of them tend to be over achievers with a competitive streak and a drive to succeed (Goldberg & Strycker, 2002).
3. Picky eating
A picky or fussy eater is what you would call someone who’s very particular about their food. They have certain foods they don’t eat or restaurants they don’t go to, and they want their meals cooked this way instead of that. They usually have a lot of questions about what’s in the food they’re eating and are most likely health conscious and concerned about what it is they’re putting in their bodies. And while it is good to be mindful of your health, studies have shown that those who are picky eaters (to a moderate or severe degree) often struggled with feelings of anxiety, depression, and ADHD (Pfeiler & Egloff, 2020). This is most likely because being a picky eater is so rooted in neurotic and overly controlling behaviors.
4. Organized eating
Another common eating habit a lot of people have is “organized eating” and examples include: only eating one type of food at a time; not letting your food touch each other; or always making sure to cut your food into little pieces before eating them. Sound familiar? Well, if you’re someone who falls into this category, then that means you are likely to have a very tidy and organized personality. You enjoy making plans and thinking ahead because you don’t do well in disorderly or unpredictable situations. You are thoughtful, hard-working, and incredibly self-sufficient.
5. Adventurous eating
Are you always experimenting with your food, mixing things that don’t usually go together? Do you like to try unique and exotic flavors and dishes every time you go out to eat? Well, if you’re an “adventurous eater”, then that means you’re a brave and bold risk-taker who craves excitement and loves to try new things! You are passionate, spontaneous, and love to have fun in everything you do, and that includes eating. Studies also show that people who are adventurous eaters are seen as more confident, outgoing, interesting, and popular (Vesela & Grebenova, 2010).
6. Chewing/eating loudly
Last but certainly not least, we have chewing or eating loudly. And if you’re the kind of person who can’t eat quietly — whether it’s because of your chewing or because you often talk even with your mouth full — then you are likely to be a lively, talkative, and extraverted person. You don’t really care what other people think of you, and you’re not too worried about being judged by them either because you have such a positive, relaxed, and self-assured attitude. You are a friendly person who cares deeply about the ones they love and are likely to have a nurturing and open-minded personality.
So, do you relate to any of the things we’ve mentioned here on this list? Do you have any of these eating habits as well? And if so, what does it say about you?
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- Mõttus, R., Realo, A., Allik, J., Deary, I. J., Esko, T., & Metspalu, A. (2012). Personality traits and eating habits in a large sample of Estonians. Health Psychology, 31(6), 806.
- Goldberg, L. R., & Strycker, L. A. (2002). Personality traits and eating habits: The assessment of food preferences in a large community sample. Personality and individual differences, 32(1), 49-65.
- Pfeiler, T. M., & Egloff, B. (2020). Personality and eating habits revisited: Associations between the big five, food choices, and Body Mass Index in a representative Australian sample. Appetite, 149, 104607.
- Vesela, J., & Grebenova, S. (2010). The influence of psychological and social aspect on the eating habits of primary school children. School and Health, 21, 271-284.