Dr. Andrea Liner
4 Tips for Surviving Holiday Gatherings During a Breakup
Prepare & Practice
Think ahead of time of what kind of conversations you are or are not willing to have about your breakup. Remember that people tend to follow your lead, so if you want them to be lighthearted about it and to move on to other topics quickly, you need to be doing that with your tone and choice of language. Try coming up with responses to questions you might be asked ahead of time so you aren't caught off guard. And remember you can take trusted people aside ahead of time to let them know what happened and what you are hoping no one brings it up.
You are allowed to flat out say "I'm not willing or able or ready to have this conversation yet." A nice way to do this is to use the expression "so anyway..." which nicely but firmly indicates that you want to move the conversation along to a new topic.
Humor is a great way to deflect, not get too deep into it, and indicate that you want to move the conversation along without seeming like you're mad at them for bringing it up. Try something like: "Well I thought I was next in line to date Pete Davidson, but I guess I'm going to have to wait my turn."
Assume Good Intentions
Sometimes when we're going through something really hard or feeling extra sensitive, even well-intentioned comments or questions can come across as judgmental or as an attack. But try to separate that from genuine caring or concern. You can say "hey I appreciate you asking, but I'm not ready to talk about it yet." This indicates that you're not mad at them and you appreciate them caring, but you're going to hold strong boundaries and not talk about this.
Happy Holidays! ❄️