Haters in Whoville

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Dear Dharma, 

Hi and Merry Christmas! I hope you are having a great holiday season, however you celebrate it, Christmas, Hanukah, Kwanzaa, or Festivus!  This my favorite time of the year, when people can set aside the petty differences that grind away at them all year if only for a week or two.

Some people can’t seem to do that though.  I tried to wish a friend of mine a happy Christmas, and she almost snapped my head off!  I can understand being stressed about some of the commercial aspects of the season, but come on grumpy!  How can I get my friend into the spirit of the time, and tell her to stop being such a hater. I just want her to feel as happy as everyone else!

Make Her Heart Swell 2 Sizes!

Dear Swell,

Yes, well, Merry Christmas and all the rest to you too!  You definitely seem engaged in all the season has to offer… but you do know that everybody is not you, right?

There are the people who cheer when Christmas bursts into their local Walmart – in October – and others that cringe and think it’s too soon, my tree is still up from last year!

Nothing wrong with this being your favourite time of year, but you do need to recognize that it doesn’t necessarily spark the same exuberance in everyone.  There are lots of things about Christmas that are stressful – so many more things on the to-do list for folks already taxed to the max.  More crowds, more cards, more cooking, cleaning, baking and wrapping.  Added expenses, trees to put up and trees to take down.  Not to mention increased social obligations, parties, open houses, travelling, high levels of sugar and low levels of sleep.

Also, as we saw in our last post – Christmas Past – Christmas can be a very emotional time.  All the festivities, all the great things that you love about the season, can seriously underscore a person’s feeling of loneliness and loss.  So when you say you just want your friend to feel as happy as everyone else, you may have used too wide of a brush to paint the picture of what you think Christmas is to “everyone”.

Christmas can also be, and should also be, about being sensitive to what other people are experiencing, non?  And maybe not just at Christmas time… but a nice place to start.

Perhaps the next time your friend is snappy and overwhelmed, take a few minutes to find out what is going on with her instead of pushing your holiday agenda on her – that in itself might just be what makes her heart swell 2 sizes.

Dharma

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1 Comment

  • I think the writer of this hopefully means well by spreading cheer, and I wouldn’t want to stifle that.

    For me, Christmas is a great time to be with family and give something back to the community, but – big but – it’s also a time when there are some family members who aren’t at the table, because they’ve passed away. So along with all the cheer and love (of which we do really well) there’s some real sadness and sometimes that side of the holiday wins for a day or two.

    So maybe keep in mind, when someone’s less than jolly, that that particular day of the holidays might just be a hard one for them. Maybe they need a friend, not a pep squad, and you can just be there for them in the emotional place they meet you.

Whether you agree with Dharma or think she missed the mark on this one, leave a Comment!

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