How singles can get through the most wonderful, and loneliest, time of the year.
Yesterday I had a session with a client that took a bit of a turn that I hadn't fully expected and I realized I had to share it with you. My client, who has made phenomenal progress during our relatively brief work together, spent a fair portion of our call in tears because as many singles know, for them, the holidays are NOT the most wonderful time of the year.
This particular woman, like so many of my clients, is very successful and accomplished in her career, incredibly brilliant and a total catch — but in the past, she has struggled in the area of relationships. That's because she had a Catch-22 that kept her locked in a vicious cycle. She didn't know how to bring out the best in men and honestly, her success repelled men because it was clear she didn’t "need" them. This loneliness and the belief that she had to survive "on her own" made her work even harder and more often and this only exacerbated the original problem. Can you see how that might happen?
The great news is that this lady has absolutely blossomed and made wonderful progress in our work together. In fact, thanks to our work together, she has multiple men who are very interested in her and pursuing her actively. As a man, I kind of thought that was a good-quality problem at first. Then I remembered that feminine energy navigates by emotion — not logic and analysis. The problem that had her in tears was that at this very moment, she is "somewhat" single, right in the middle of holiday party season. Since she is socially active, serves on a number of charitable foundations and is very well known and highly regarded in her community, she has many holiday function invitations. The problem is that she doesn't have one very special man to accompany her to all of them. It's just a matter of time before that changes but it made me realize that her feelings were not unique at this time of year. I wanted to help make the holidays less painful for other single people who are experiencing the holiday blues. With that in mind, here is my list of six surival tips for singles to beat the holiday blues.
1) Recognize that your problem is also the first part of your solution
The first step in solving any problem is admitting or recognizing that there's a problem. Even if it doesn't feel good in the moment, your awareness of the feeling is Stage One in what I call The Triple As of Problem Solving. Stage 2 is using your awareness to determine where you are now, decide where you want to be and then map out a strategy for action. I do this as the first step with every new client and by developing a plan to close the gap, we soon reach Stage 3 which is achievement.
2) Take stock of what's great about you
If you want to have a date for holiday parties, you may want to decline future invitations to your own personal pity party. That doesn't mean you have to shut down your emotions and not feel; I'm just going to encourage you not to indulge in your sadness and wallow in it. There's a huge difference. As I said in the first tip, your sadness creates awareness. Here's a great exercise that will change your state if you play full-out. Make a list of at least 50 things that are great about you that you can offer the right and perfect partner for you. That may seem like a lot, but if it does, that's partly why you feel stuck. I haven't met a person yet who doesn't have HUNDREDS of really good attributes and wonderful traits to bring to the table in a relationship. Examples include positive traits like kindness, intelligence, fairness, integrity, a big heart, etc. But I've met plenty of people who at one time weren't resourceful enough to identify those traits. Here's a quick hint: some of your best traits might be the exact opposite of the negative you tell yourself that brings on the blues in the first place. For instance, even if you haven't had a date in 20 years, here's the real truth: 1) You have less relationship baggage than most. 2) When it comes to being single, you've been there, done that. 3) You're now READY for a relationship. 4) You know how precious love is so you'll work to nurture it. 5) If you can take care of yourself, it's a lot easier to take care of a partner. That's just for starters. If you really do this exercise, how great will you feel when you know you have at least 50 and possibly hundreds of great attributes to offer a partner? It's a total game-changer so push yourself. It'll only change possibly EVERYTHING.
3) Review your list at least once daily
Once you've done your list and feel really good about all the positive traits you just discovered, really take that in and experience the gratitude of how wonderful it feels to know that you have a lot to offer. Who knows, you might even start to feel like a real catch and there's no more attractive trait to both men and women than confidence. You can even post your list somewhere where you'll see it often so you really associate to it and take it in on a regular basis.
4) Own your role in it and let it go
Now that we've made some real progress to change your state, it's time to understand that your situation is nothing more than a reflection of your past awareness, beliefs and attitudes combined with your actions, habits and behaviors. Now that we've started to change those things, all-new possibilities come into play! Now is a great time to simply acknowledge your new understanding. Factor in your growth and celebrate your progress. But perhaps most importantly, be gentle with yourself and forgive the fact that you did the best you could with what you had in the moment. The past does not equal the future when you've taken all new action. And you have so congratulations!
5) Commit to action on at least one thing
You've made a huge shift already so acknowledge that and feel good about your progress. Next, chunk it down to avoid overwhelm and just commit to one more new action that will help magnify your progress and build on the momentum you already have. Perhaps you may want to look into some coaching to learn more, have some support on your journey or have accountability. If so, please feel free to reach out to me for a free chat. Maybe you'll want to join a singles group, ask someone you've had your eye on for some time out on a date, or maybe even create a dating profile. Just choose one thing and take action now. In fact, here's one more great suggestion I highly recommend: Keep reading...
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