Family gatherings are tough for many reasons. It can be particularly hard to navigate a family that has a bad habit of body-shaming. It’s always a shock to the system when you have spent all year working on building up your self-esteem, only to have your grandma comment on the size of your thighs. So how do you survive the minefield of a family gathering with your self-worth in tact?
Your parents are people
It can be hard to remember that you parents most likely had to deal with body-shaming from their parents. That’s where they learned to judge themselves and other people. And that’s sad. Remind yourself that it comes from a sad place. You can either feel bad for them and ignore the behavior or you can ask them to remember how they felt when their parents said things like that. Nothing wrong with a bit of introspection.
You have different priorities
It’s okay to point out to your family that you have different priorities to them. If Auntie June never shuts up about ways you can improve your looks to snag a partner, maybe mention to her that you don’t rely on others for happiness and fulfillment. And make a few jokes about dying surrounded by cats. She’ll love it!
You’re allowed boundaries
Family is important, yes. That is until family becomes toxic. You are allowed to have boundaries. You are allowed to advocate for yourself. You’re not twelve anymore. If your family doesn’t respect what you will and won’t tolerate, then they need to understand that you won’t be spending as much time with them anymore.