How to Politely Decline Food During The Holidays (or Any Dinner Party) Without Insulting The Host

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Playing Mister Manners On How to Turn Down Food Without Insulting the Host

When it comes to Thanksgiving, it’s all about the food. More food. And even more food. Truth be told, it can be nearly impossible to save room for every dish.

So, how can you politely decline food if you’re too full to eat another bite? Etiquette expert (he edited the anthology Modern Manners: The Thinking Person’s Guide to Social Graces) Thomas Farley, better known as “Mister Manners,” has just the answer.

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“You can always take a small piece, just a tiny sliver shouldn’t fill you up too much. If it’s a sit down thing, not taking anything at all will make it look like you’re boycotting it, so take something,” he says.

If you’re not interested in the dish at all and someone is pushing you to try it, Thomas has a clever spin. He suggests taking the opportunity to praise someone on their dish instead of making it about the food being too filling.

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“If someone asks about it, turn it into a compliment for their other cooking,” Thomas explains. “Say, “I’m trying to keep an appetite for all the other wonderful food you’ve made. Make it about that.”


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