Tiffany was single, and she knew that she would be all alone for the holiday. Her children were going to visit their father's family for a few days. She was anticipating a miserable, lonely dreadful day. Grieving over her divorce, Tiffany felt like she would be a big downer at any gathering. However, deep inside she really wanted to be with other people, to laugh sing and have a good time with, if only for a few hours. She thought that no one was inviting her because of her divorce and couldn't even imagine inviting herself because she felt that would be a big imposition on others.
Tiffany had mentioned being alone for the holidays to a friend who stated, "Usually it's just me and my parents for the day. You can join us, because we don't want you to be alone." Tiffany declined, feeling more alone and isolated than ever.
Perhaps, you are like Tiffany in the fact that you do not even know how to begin to approach people in hopes of finding someone to be with for the holidays.
Start by talking to everyone you know. Say things like, "I'm trying to figure out what I should do for the holiday's since my children will be at their father's house." (If your children are grown, just leave out the part about the kids.) You might even throw out some suggestions like going for a short trip or finding a shelter to volunteer at. This way you are not asking for an invitation and are not putting pressure on anyone. It really is possible to have a fun and fulfilling holiday season.
You may get some responses such as Tiffany did from her friend, in which you will automatically know that they are only inviting you because they don't want you to be alone—graciously decline.
On the other hand there are MANY people who have the, "More the merrier," attitude. They have large gatherings at their home full of family and friends. These people will invite you to their home to join the festivities. ACCEPT them! These are perfect opportunities for you to meet new people, and you might even meet someone who will become a lifelong friend. Another great thing about these type of festivities, is that you will not know everyone, thereby foregoing the awkward, "I'm so sorry to hear about you and Bill," moments. Embrace this new experience as a chance to grow into the next chapter of your life.
Another response you may get from people, is that they simply might start recommending things that you can do or places you can go. They may come up with the perfect answer that you have been looking for. Maybe this friend knows about a large holiday gathering for the newly single, or just heard about a women's shelter that was looking for someone to help out.
People may not even think to invite you, simply because you have always been busy in the past. When you begin letting people know that you are free, you will begin getting invitations, most of which will be very sincere. If I told you that I was trying to figure out what to do for the holidays, and you replied stating that you had lots of friends and family over and invited me, would your invitation be genuine? Would you be doing it out of pity? Would you feel like you were being impositioned? Chances are your answer is no.
Your holidays will be different from now on. It is up to you to determine how you choose to spend them. If you want to stop crying and feeling down, then choose to spend the holidays with fun and laughter. You must begin, by making plans, either throwing your own party or letting everyone know that you are looking for things to do that day.
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This article was originally published at Coaching For Divorced Women
. Reprinted with permission from the author.