A Wise Social Strategy For Your Mealtimes
Every day, we have three meals. Every day, we have three chances to build relationships, expand our social circles, and make new contacts. Although eating alone from time to time can be a comfort or a time to relax, it’s also important to recognize your mealtimes as social opportunities.
The first meal of the day is also the most important. Eating breakfast wakes you up, kickstarts your metabolism, and gives you a chance to gather yourself before your day truly begins. However, many people skip breakfast, especially if they have to work early. Instead of eating breakfast alone or not eating at all, consider eating with your coworkers. This gives you the chance to check in and make sure everyone and everything is prepared for the day ahead. Eating together also provides a great chance to build rapport with your team. A stronger rapport means a better and more comfortable working environment, which means you can put out better work! Finally, everyone appreciates the person who brings bagels and coffee to the office. Providing breakfast every now and then will quickly make you popular. Make sure you take advantage here – all these breakfast opportunities would be terrible to miss!
Ah, lunch! A break from the monotony of your day – a time to take a little rest and regroup before you throw yourself back into your work. Some people think of lunch as an opportunity to keep working, except with food in front of you. I’m an advocate of taking it out of the office. Everyone works better when they also have time to rest! However, that doesn’t mean you should eat alone and accomplish nothing. Take advantage of your lunchtime to do a little networking: meet up with newer contacts or clients and have some bonding time. You want to be memorable – more than a name from your email thread. Show a visiting client the best Italian food in the city, take your senior to the new Mexican place down the street, and make sure everyone has a good time. By more aggressively pursuing a relationship with the people who decide your worth at your job, you’re putting yourself in a much better position. Who’s more likely to get promoted, Bob who keeps his head down and works through lunch every day, or the person who has inside jokes with the boss?
Finally, it’s dinnertime. You can head home from work and enjoy it at your leisure! Dinner is a great time to spend time with your family or friends. Eating together with loved ones has many physical and psychological advantages. When eating with family, everyone eats healthier – more fruits and vegetables, less mindless chewing. You can catch up, talk about your day, and de-stress. As with your coworkers and clients, eating together can help build stronger relationships as well. A meal is a great excuse to catch up with friends you haven’t seen for a while or to get the whole family together after everyone has been busy during the day.
Finally, eating alone can lead to feelings of loneliness and isolation – with all these advantages, why would you choose loneliness instead?