How to handle food allergy bullies:
It's actually pretty easy to deal with these type of people. The people that enjoy making others sad when really they are the ones who are sad themselves. These bullies feed off of reactions. If they see something different about you then of course they are going to take a shot at it. Being gluten-free and eating differently is one thing that people for some reason like to mess with. I never understood it because it's really just food. But for some reason, kids, teens, and even adults still do it. So, what do you do to a food allergy bully to get them to stop? Kill them with kindness. Don't give them a reaction because that's exactly what they are looking for! They make fun of you for not being able to eat gluten? Just say, "Hey, at least I like the way I eat and can actually feel great doing it." If you show it doesn't bother you and you don't give them a reaction, I guarantee they will stop and get no fun out of it. It's worked for me every time.
Attitude is everything:
I really mean it when I say that attitude is everything when it comes to bullies. I'm not talking about having an attitude with them. I'm talking about having a good attitude of your own and not letting bullies see that your allergies bother you. I'll admit that eating out sucks, not having food sucks, but if you let someone else see that it bothers you then that just gives them something to bother you about too. I personally have always enjoyed the way I eat. When I meet new people I would be confident about being gluten-free and would show it didn't bother me. Sure there were a few people along the way who tried to pick on me. But the fact that I showed I actually liked the way I ate was kind of like a "screw you" to them without me actually saying it. Being happy about your food and showing you like how you eat gives nothing for them to pick on! But if you show that you hate eating this way and hate the way you eat, then of course that person is going to know it upsets you and try to upset you more.
When it gets more extreme:
I've heard terrible stories of kids getting peanuts, bread, or whatever they are allergic to shoved in their face. Now this is something I know adults would never do, on some level. This is strictly something some kids and teenagers deal with individually. If you're the person getting bullied to this extent then it's time you tell someone. They are putting your health at risk and can end up getting you in the hospital. If you're a parent who hears your kid say this to you then it's definitely time to take action. When it gets to the point where physical harm can come to your kid, then you have to step up. Most parents would take action at this point and would know it's time to get the school involved. If it ever gets this bad then you can even get a 504 plan to help your kid which most kids with food allergies fall under.
Bullies are everywhere around us. It doesn't matter what age you are because they are always something we are going to face in life. I've faced them as a teenager and I know I'm going to face them as an adult. I've just learned that if you don't give bullies anything to pick on you about then you will never have these problems! Treat being gluten-free as a blessing because it is a cure to make you finally feel better! Be confident with how you eat and people will become interested rather than see it as something to pick on you about. Whether you are a teenager, kid, or an adult, we all face bullies. When it comes to food allergies it's all about just having the right attitude and showing people that there truly is nothing to make fun of. As long as you do that I know you will never have to worry about food allergy bullying again.
Have you experienced food allergy bullying in some way? It comes in many forms as a kid or an adult so I'm interested to know!