5 Awkward Holiday Family Situations and How to Handle Them. It’s that time again: The awkward moments. The prying personal questions. Everyone trying to impress each other by putting up a fake front. And this year’s holiday family get-together could be even more difficult since many people skipped it last year due to Covid. So, how do you maintain your swagger and stay true to yourself when family you haven’t seen in a few years puts you on the spot?
These are five of the most common holiday discussions that people dread, but this year you can be prepared:
- Seeing anyone lately? When do you think he will propose? I really want grandkids! Although you might want to respond with a few choice words, remember that humanity, vulnerability and authenticity are the essence of swagger. Don’t let others try to convince you that you are not good enough or that you need to be at a certain stage in your life. We are all constantly evolving, and we all move at our own pace. Pretending we’re all that and a bag of chips stunts our potential. Look them straight in the eyes and tell them things will unfold when they’re ready to, and that you are perfectly content with the way things are.
- How come you still have those piercings? Did you get more tattoos? And why do you wear those clothes? People don’t have to love the real you and that’s okay! So-called imperfections are what often bring the flavor to the recipe of our uniqueness. The secret is accepting and even embracing it. Otherwise, we’re trying to make ourselves vanilla, and that’s boring. If you’re more of a spicy mocha choca double twist kind of a person, be proud of it, even if you give others heartburn. Nothing in the world feels better than keeping it real.
- Did you ever go back and finish school? You were so smart! You are not your history. Stop telling yourself about the past, or that you haven’t realized your full potential, or that you could have been more ‘if only…’ Instead, focus on where you are going. When responding to people, focus on the present and future: Today, I am doing… Today, I am working toward… Today, I accomplished… If you stay stuck in believing your history, you’ll be dragging on the ground mired in self-doubt and insecurity, and that’s how others will see you, too.
- Have you voted? Before speaking, ask yourself whether your truth may reflect negatively on the perception of others at that moment. If so, it could be a good moment to stay silent and wait until you have the appropriate person alone in order to achieve your well-intentioned goal—even if the relevant discussion is happening right in front of you. If you don’t, trust me when I say that things will likely not turn out well. It’s one thing to be true to yourself and be who you really are. There’s also something to be said about playing it cool and not adding fire to an already heated discussion.
- You need to be more like your siblings and get a real job! Comparing yourself to others is a waste of time, but it’s what we do when we get to these holiday get-togethers. “But he’s a doctor. She’s a lawyer. They have an expensive car. They have a big house. Why am I such a loser?” It’s pretty liberating to stop comparing. No one’s true self is better than anyone else’s. Being “your best self” is completely subjective. As humans, we are naturally messy, flawed, inconsistent, and reactive. Gazing adoringly at another human and envying their seeming charisma or personality can’t be a measurement tool.