The holidays are upon us again! Although this is the time of year where we celebrate family, traditions and that immeasurable thing known as time. But in the age of the President of Maximum Suntan, with MAGA hats and matching beverages, let me give you 5 tips that will allow to survive encounters with people you are related to, in close proximity to and may have to be polite to in order to prevent a fight from breaking out.
1.) Be gracious. My parents are Baby Boomers: manners are everything. The appearance of being mannered, having cooth, or decorum means everything. If you are in the presence of racist/fascist/phobic family members and friends? You can be polite and not engage in the conversation. You can be polite and decline the invitation. You can even be polite, pack your plate and leave. Remember the words of Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens):
“Don’t get on the level of stupid people. They will beat you down with experience.”
2.) Set boundaries. It is easy to get embroiled in madness with people whom have not done the necessary reading to participate in certain conversations. With you are in a setting like a company party, friend’s house or close family, make an internal decision about what you will and will not discuss–this includes politics.
Make these boundaries, adhere to them and when they are violated? Voice that! Don’t allow people you are in social proximity with to dictate your thoughts, comfort, or make sport of your anxieties.
3.) Secure a ride to an event or back from it. One of the things which is common to do during this time of year is to carpool. In this time, with the diverse nature of other people’s petty, don’t be a victim of that. It is not cute to get to a venue or event and then be left when a verbal altercation breaks out.
I have seen this.
Don’t be victim of this.
As a woman in America, especially with rape culture, Brock Turner mascots, suspicious ride-shares and the time change, it is best at all possible that you choose your events you attend. Choose your transportation–and have a reliable back up, just in case. Lately, I go to events in my own vehicle. And normally, since I no longer drink, I am the DD (Designated Driver).
4.) Don’t be pressured to go somewhere you know will cause you to lose peace…or freedom. I am no longer moved my invitations and RSVPs. I am no longer moved by who thinks I should be there, where and doing what. I do no stress myself about holiday parties at jobs, events, or for people I don’t like! Plus, the way that I am set up? I can give you an hour of grace till I just HAVE to leave. And I do not defend President Maximum Tan. So to keep my job, and freedom (it is the age of BBQ Beckys, and just Regular Triflin Beckys), I leave before anything can pop off. No one needs that…
If all else fails? Ask this question: “Who all over there?” or the variation “Who all comin’?”
5.) “No” is a complete sentence. I understand that the holidays are time to spend with the people you love. I get it! But I also get how the people you are related to are toxic and triggering. Don’t fall for the lie of “We’re family! You gotta come by!”
No. Thee. Hell. I. Don’t.
The word “No” is a command, verb, predicate, and a whole ass sentence.
Places that I don’t want to go, I don’t go anymore.
If I said I wasn’t going, then I’m not going.
There is no more convincing, pleading or bribing. I AIN’T comin’.
‘No’ is a complete sentence.
Your peace, your space, your mind and heart are invaluable. Preserve them all costs. The holidays are a time of reflection, contemplation and rest. Don’t willingly go into the mouths of lions because they are family. Or call themselves such. Use wisdom. Be bold. Be gracious. And if need be–be out.