Home for the Holidays
For some, coming home for the holidays means family dinners and nights in front of the fire. For others, it means coming into an environment with difficult questions and less than welcoming vibes. Coming home means leaving the environment where you feel most comfortable- which for some of us might be campus. It's okay if this is your experience and if it doesn't align with what you feel like you’re supposed to feel. I’m lucky that my nuclear family provides me with a safe environment, but I feel challenged when we gather with extended family. My family’s values and ideals differ from mine, leaving me constantly on the defensive. Here are some tips if you find yourself in the same position:
Find someone who you can relate to! For me, this is a cousin who I can sit next to during dinner. By engaging with them, I can stay busy from the other conversations.
Don’t be afraid to take time for yourself and find a place for a few deep breaths. Finding this space can be super helpful to remove yourself from the situation.
Set boundaries! I find myself saying “I don’t really want to talk about this right now” while at the dinner table.
Prepare for hard questions with witty responses! If you’re dreading personal questions asked by your nosey aunt, prepare some funny responses that will diffuse the conversation.
Change the topic. My favorite technique is to prepare some conversation topics that are neutral and engaging. Doing this allows for me to be in control of the conversation by directing in it in a positive direction.
The holidays can be stressful and emotional but by following these suggestions, they can be enjoyable too! Don’t forget -- we always have our College Moxie Family for guidance and advice!