The holidays are really great. It’s an opportunity to get together with friends and family you haven’t seen in a while, indulge in some delicious food, and rejuvenate for the upcoming new year. However, it can also be semi-dreadful knowing you will run into multiple people who think it is ok to ask intrusive, inappropriate questions.
You know the questions I’m talking about:
When are you graduating?
When are you going to get a real job?
Is that boyfriend of yours going to propose? Are you going to propose/get married?
Will you start having kids soon?
Are you going to go back to work when the kids start school?
When this? When that? And I’m sure you can finish the list with your personal favorites.
You can’t exactly avoid every relative or family friend brave enough to ask you these questions. It might make for a very boring holiday season.
Instead of avoiding holiday conversation, try these quick tips:
Be honest. Tell those asking unpleasant questions that you don’t appreciate them continually budding into these personal aspects of your life. You don’t have to be rude about it, but there could be a chance they don’t realize they’re inappropriate.
Be prepared. If you know the questions are coming, prepare yourself with rehearsed responses. Give yourself time to think of an acceptable answer you’re happy with – whether it’s a goofy response or a more direct response. By doing this, you don’t have to be caught off guard trying to think of an answer and you will lower your anxiety levels throughout the holiday season.
Be assertive. You have the right to enforce your own boundaries. If a conversation truly is harmful for you to partake in, remember that you have the right to let people know you do not want to participate. Let others know your expectations for holiday conversation. You don’t have to be rude, but you can be assertive. Stand up for yourself, your emotional well-being, and ask them to stop.
Be patient. Sometimes, our aging relatives don’t realize they are being intrusive. You may need to practice patience with them. Use your judgement to gauge whether it’s a time to be assertive or if it’s a time to let the unnecessary comments roll off your back. This point is much more difficult than the others to put into practice, however it’s important to remember that sometimes even we ask the inappropriate questions. Sometimes, we are the ones that need someone to be patient and give usgrace. You have to give it to get it.
Hopefully these tips can help you make it through holiday dinner. However, if you feel like you need a little more help building your confidence and being assertive, give us a call – 832-421-8714, or email us! We’d love to help you.