It’s not a reason. It’s a bonus.

Generally when I tell people I don’t drink tea or I don’t eat meat, I’m often met with a response that “it’s healthy for you!” (as well as a rather defensive “well, I like it”). Then these people generally start to list a bunch of reasons why I should like tea or meat, following the “healthy” excuse. I usually have to start grabbing half my face at this point and sigh, because I don’t think people understand – all those reasons you’re listing aren’t reasons why I should be liking them, but rather bonuses to liking them.

Really, I don’t care that tea is healthy for me to drink because it has a bunch of antioxidants in it. All tea taste like warm, watered-downed flavoured water with melted popsicle sticks/tongue depressors in it to me. Herbal tea is decent, but it still has that popsicle stick taste I can’t stand to drink constantly. My taste buds just don’t like tea.

I also don’t care if meat is “healthy” for me, providing me with vitamins & minerals. I partially dropped meat because I barely ate it and partially because of an eating disorder. I don’t find the smell of meat scrumptious, and if I did/do, it’s not actually the meat, but rather the seasonings or the dressings and I don’t find a juicy steak or hamburger slightly shining in the low light of a restaurant appetizing. Giving me the reason that it’s “healthy” isn’t enough for me (’cause you know, being vegetarian obviously isn’t healthy /sarcasm). I just don’t like meat.

By all means though, if you love tea and find it the best drink in the world, GO DRINK YOUR TEA. And if you love meat – all kinds of meat – red meat, poultry, fish, etc. – THEN EAT IT TO YOUR HEART’S CONTENT! Honestly, I don’t care. What I do care about is that when I bring up that my tastes are different from yours, you go on the defensive and try to come up with reasons why I should like it too. As I said before, all these reasons aren’t reasons why I should like them, but rather bonuses of liking them.

For instance, I’ve recently discovered I have a love for bananas when there’s barely anything to eat in the house. I prefer the bananas by a long shot to the containers of junk food sitting in the pantry. I like how bananas taste and their texture – which is soft, sweet, and perhaps even slightly tangy, in such a way where it does not overpower my taste buds. I like how easy they are to grab and open up. I like that I don’t have to even have to completely remove the peel to eat it, allowing the peel to be used as something to keep my hands clean. As a bonus, it’s full of potassium!

So, in short:
Reasons why I like bananas – I like how they taste
Bonuses to liking bananas – POTASSIUM!!! And they’re easy to open and can keep my hands clean if I keep the peel on.

Imagine you told me that you didn’t like bananas. I suddenly get defensive and say to you “How could you not like bananas? They taste really good! Also, they’re full of potassium and they’re easy to open AND if you keep the peel on, they’ll keep your hands clean!”.

Is that going to change your mind?

Unless you’ve been using getting vitamins & minerals as your reason for liking everything for years now (which I doubt), rather than just simply liking the taste of something, no, me telling you all that isn’t going to change your mind. If you don’t like bananas, then you’re still not going to like bananas regardless if they’re full of potassium and if you decide to keep the peel on, your hands will stay clean and that I like them.

The most I might be able to do is make you consider actually trying a banana again, just to make sure you definitely don’t like that.

I am always willing to try tea because I really want to like it. I keep telling myself “one day, there will be a tea for me”. However, every time I drink tea, I am greeted by that warm, water-down flavoured water mixed with a popsicle stick taste. The only time I’ve ever even slightly enjoyed tea was a homemade herbal one. And yes, I’ve had tea with honey and sugar and plain before – nothing strongly appeals to my taste buds.

If you’re still not getting what I’m talking about (I really, really hope you are), take a step back and think about a food that you like. What do you like about the food? Is it simply the taste or the texture or something more? Got the list now? Good. Now, think about the bonuses to liking that food. Is it quick to make? Is it full of vitamins and minerals? Something else? Are you starting to see where I’m coming from?

For the TL;DR people: Giving me opinions (“I like this!”) and facts (“full of vitamins & minerals”/”healthy for you”) are not reasons why I should like foods, drinks, etc., but rather bonuses to liking them. Stop trying to make them out otherwise.

Thank you.