The Gift of Self Advocacy

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Let’s face it, part of the stress of the Holidays is our beloved Families.

From having to deal with Uncle Fred and his gambling problem we aren’t allowed to talk about or Aunt
Patty’s incessant talking to Cousin Diana’s nouveau riche humble-bragging all at the same meal, it can be
enough to make one not want to scream “next year I am going to an ashram” over the Roast Beef.

THere are things we can talk about and ways I strongly encourage you to speak up for yourself over the
next 10 days or so to practice for the rest of the year.

I wouldn’t bother with Uncle Fred, Aunt Patty or Cousin Diana, they are in their own world. However,
you do not have to stay at your Mother’s with all of their energy 24/7 no matter how much it is “tradition’
you can always stay at an Airbnb or a local hotel. She might not like it, but your peace of mind and mental
health is worth a great deal, and remember what happened to poor Kevin at Home Alone in a Crazy
Christmas house, he acted out, was misunderstood, and eventually left behind. Do not be like Kevin.

You might need to leave your Mother in Law’s annual Night of the Seven Fishes Dinner when you are
only on fish 2 because your three-year-old is a total wreck and no one likes a crabby (ha) three year old.
She might not like it, but she will enjoy him a lot more on Christmas Eve morning which he was gotten
some sleep and the parents some downtime.

Since your brother has been married to your Sister in Law for only 12 years. You have only told her for 15
years you cannot have dairy, and every year, she “forgets” and only has desserts with dairy. This year,
bring a dairy-free dessert and make sure it is served. Do not make a big production of it, make sure it is
presented beautifully. Say something like “I knew you would love it, and since you have so much to do, I
made sure it was already”. Smile, and sit down.

The Holidays can be a great time to give ourselves a great gift. Not just the gorgeous pair of boots at
Neiman’s I have been eyeing, but a fabulous Holiday, one where we do not have an emotional Hangover
due to biting our tongue for 4 consecutive days because we think we can either suck it up or be difficult.
Such binary thinking is a trap. There is another way-self advocacy. Speaking up for ourselves and our
loved ones in the most loving way possible are never wrong.

Give yourself this gift this Holiday, it will end the year on a great foot, and you will start 2018 as the year
of You!




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