December 1, 2017/by Karen Bigman
The upcoming holiday season for those recently separated or divorced can be incredibly intimidating. Worrying about what to say when you’re invited to an event or anticipating attending alone this year can make you want to bury your head in the sand. Your inclination might be to decline and justify your response with how busy you are with family engagements when the truth is the only family who will be around you on the holidays is you and maybe your pet.
Your life has certainly changed but it’s not over! The key to moving forward in the future is to get yourself out and mixing with other people. You can’t spend your days and nights binge-watching Netflix (well, you probably could but it’s really not healthy!). So how do you get yourself back out there? Here are a few tips:
Say yes to the next invitation — social or business — that you get.
Put on an outfit you feel great in, add some makeup or a little aftershave.
Look at yourself in the mirror and give yourself words of encouragement:
I am beautiful
I am interesting
I am bold
Think of a few topics you feel comfortable talking about and have them in your back pocket if there’s an awkward moment of silence. Wear something unique, bring something different as a gift that’s a conversation starter.
If you arrive and everyone seems to be in a conversation, get yourself something to drink. Try to make small talk in the line for drinks. Talk to the bartender for a minute or two.
Look for someone familiar. If you spot someone you know, mosey on over and stand where you can catch that person’s eye. If you don’t know anyone, look for a group with an opening in the formation of how they’re standing. Stand close to them and smile. Listen to what they’re saying and try to add something of value. Or simply introduce yourself with “Hi, I’m ______, do you mind if I join in?”
If the first group feels uncomfortable, excuse yourself and move on to the next.
Go back to step #6.
You’d be surprised how friendly people can be. We’ve all been in that situation and most people are sympathetic to a lone stranger. If you put out welcoming, positive energy, people will want to get to know you. Before you know it, there won’t be enough time in the week for all your social engagements!
• • •
Karen Bigman, MBA and CDC™ Certified Divorce Coach, is founder and CEO of The Divorcierge.