Holiday Meddlers Cynthia Occelli

How to handle difficult holiday relationships

Holiday parties, get-togethers, and family events are often brimming with well-meaning, sometimes inebriated, people who want to help you. They say things like:

Are you married yet? 

When are you going to have children?

Aren’t you lonely?

How long do you plan on staying in your current position?

So, when will you give up _____ and get a real ______?

Most people, when asked these questions, manage a polite response, but few are genuinely unperturbed. Most inward reactions are split between irritated rebellion (I don’t give a @^#! what you think, mind your business!) and quiet despair (Why am I such a loser?). 

Both reactions are misplaced. 

The questioners are matching your life against their idea of success and the right behavior. They are telling you their stories, the ones they were taught. Those stories have nothing to do with you.

You are never more or better because of your status or lifestyle. The best you is the one who lives a meaningful life. Only you know what that means. Let that be your guide. You are the one with whom you’ll spend every moment of your life. Shouldn’t you, and your creator if your so inclined, be the ones deciding what that life will entail?

The next time you find yourself on the receiving end of someone’s story, smile, answer politely (Gosh, I’m really enjoying life right now, thank you for asking), and silently give thanks that you are conscious, aware, and able to think for yourself.

~ Cynthia

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