Secret to Answering Personal Life ?s During Holidays
On any given holiday gathering with your (sometimes dysfunctional) family and friends, you can bank on one thing: people are going to ask about your personal life. It’s stressful. It feels like you need need a survival guide. A plan. If you want to lower your anxiety heading into large social gatherings this season, then read on for tips on answering questions about your personal life during the holidays.
Start by brainstorming a list of the life journey questions you think you can expect to receive. Here are some examples:
School: “How’s school going?”
Work: “Do you have a job yet?”
Home: “When are you going to get your own place?”
Dating: “Seeing anyone special?”
Marriage: “When are you going to get married?”
Babies: “Are you going to have children”
Children”: “Are you going to have more children?”
Now that you have a slew of potential questions, map out your feelings, thoughts, and yup, draft realistic responses to each one. It is your personal life and you can keep it just that if you would like! Some answer ideas for you guys are below … notice how each one ends with an open ended prompt to redirect what can feel like an attacking question into a more socially appropriate convo.
School: “Great! My fave class is psychology because understanding humans can help me be successful in my personal and professional communications. What did you study in school?”
Work: “I’m currently exploring opportunities in the finance industry. Can you think of anyone who might be a good connection?”
Home: “By living at home, I am saving for a future apartment purchase. Do you remember your first home?”
Dating: “With my great group of friends and my professional priorities in place, I know that a relationship will come into my life when the timing is right. Have you tried that new restaurant yet? (Note this is a TOTAL pivot away from dating and into dining and things to do!)
Marriage: “(Giggling) Isn’t that why they call it “pop-ing the question?” Because it is supposed to be a surprise!? If everyone knew I think that would take the fun out of it.” (This is a pretty coy reply; you really aren’t giving them anything, lol. Get ready for the re-direct in 3…2…1…) “Hey tell me your engagement story – weren’t you guys on vacation somewhere when you asked her?”
Babies: “Babies are such a joy! We will see! For now we love spending time with our nieces and nephews. Did you see that Facebook post from Kimmy where Daniella emailed her teacher? OMG let me read you the letter!” (Whips out screenshotted pic of post and reads it to conversation partner.) “Tell me about the last time you saw your grandkids!”
Children: (Depending on your comfort level, craft your own response accordingly.) “That’s the plan – are you guys close with your siblings?” OR “Time will tell, for now we have our hands full with Lucy – did we tell you she just started reading?! What is your favorite kids or adults book?”
So what is my secret to fielding personal questions during the holidays? Preparation with a dash of pivoting.