Joe does not share food: why does it annoy us when someone climbs into a plate
Most people will not appreciate if one of the colleagues at dinner suddenly starts to pull his hand across the table to steal a couple of french fries from their meals. Exchange of food is a rather intimate gesture, which is not always welcomed. But why do some people feel free enough to take food from someone else, while these “others” are angry and angry (at least to themselves) when this happens? Scientists say that looking at how animals feed their food, you can draw a number of interesting conclusions on this topic.
According to Jennifer Verdolin, an animal behavior researcher specializing in sociality and mating, sharing food indicates a close relationship between two animals or two people, because food is considered a resource. “The better the resource, the less likely it is that you want to share it,” she said in an interview with Refinery29. “And especially if the resource is difficult to find.” Returning to French fries, it can be very tasty, and the serving is quite small, so you will not want to share it with anyone.
A couple of words about those who constantly steal someone else’s food, motivating their behavior with a desire to “just try.” Psychologists believe that this may be a sign of domination. “And it’s very unpleasant. Especially in cases when the person who does this is not close enough to you, “Verdolin adds.
In this case, sharing food with a good friend or romantic partner can, in fact, strengthen the relationship. Studies on chimpanzees show that the exchange of food releases oxytocin from both the giver and the recipient, which greatly facilitates social adhesion. “Oxytocin strengthens emotions, creating a powerful feedback loop,” comments Jennifer Verdolin. So theoretically, if you share a dinner with someone who is good to you, it can increase your affection for each other.
Dr. Verdolin explains that people tend to share food with their family members, because there is already a strong connection here. “Although, if you noticed, many teenagers do not like it when parents take their food,” she says. This, according to the researcher, is also associated with an attempt to subconsciously recall the parental dominance that children, especially in difficult adolescence, perceive as hostile.
But the exchange of food in the sense of establishing a stronger contact is logical only when the resource is of interest to each of the parties. In other words, if a friend invites you to eat fish and chips, and since childhood you can not tolerate fish , nothing positive will come of it.
In this case, do not forget that people are more developed than most animals , so the way to interact with food in humans is certainly more complicated. We all experience different emotions about eating. And it is important to always keep in mind that even if you are accustomed to sharing food and do not feel any discomfort at all about this, the person who is nearby may not fully share your views.