Top 4 Tips For Surviving The Holidays With Judgmental Relatives

Top 4 Tips For Surviving The Holidays With Judgmental Relatives

Because we can't control how people treat us, but we can control how we respond.
How to Survive the holidays.

Christine Yarde

I think Jonah Hill said it best when he said “I know you mean well but I kindly ask that you not comment on my body, Good or bad I want to politely let you know it’s not helpful and doesn’t feel good. Much respect.”  As plus-size women, I think most of us can say we know this feeling. I mean, raise your hand if you have overbearing family members who think it’s their right to comment on everything from your size to your choice in a romantic partner. It’s exhausting and can really suck the joy out of a room. And with the holidays being right around the corner, it’s looking like more of us will be able to gather with relatives we haven’t seen in awhile—for better or for worse. So in the spirit of Jonah Hill, here are my top four tips for making it through family gatherings this holiday season unscathed.

Get Centered

If your holiday family gathering looks like you being in close quarters for several hours with people you are more than happy to see only once a year, some inner zen is going to be required. It doesn’t matter what you do to pour into yourself, maybe you pray, maybe you meditate, maybe you do deep breathing or maybe you sit in silence and drink a glass of wine, whatever it is–do it. Being cool and calm from within will help you navigate sticky situations like a world class pro. Trust me, it can make all the difference between enjoying a peaceful dinner and slapping your cousin before the table is even set.

Show Up Looking Great!

When you look good, you feel good, that’s really the moral of this story. Walking into a room with that “I’m every woman” energy is hard to ignore and hard to penetrate. Wear something that you know you look good in and really makes you feel confident. And comfort is a must. It is so easy to be angry when your plus-size jeans are cutting into your waistline. Also, who wants to give Aunt Betty ammunition to make a tasteless comment about your weight because you are tugging and adjusting all night long. Shut her up and give yourself some grace by wearing something comfy.

"Please stop bringing up what I used to allow. My tolerance has changed.” Mic drop. "

Arm Yourself With Solid Comebacks

While we can not stop family members from making unsolicited comments about our lives, we can decide how we will respond to them. Nedra T. Webb relationship and boundaries expert and bestselling author of Set Boundaries, Find Peace has great suggestions for how to respond when your boundaries are being challenged. My favorite: “please stop bringing up what I used to allow. My tolerance has changed.” Mic drop.

Leave When You’re Ready

This might be the most important tip of all. Part of setting boundaries is knowing when you have had just about enough. If I am feeling anxious about a situation, I will set a personal time limit for when I make my exit stage left. It helps me to relax and feel in control, and if things go better than I expect I’m free to stay a little longer. But knowing your tolerance and responding accordingly to protect your peace is priceless. Pack that to-go plate and leave. 

Good luck to us all and cheers to a joy filled holiday season! 


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