Does the holiday “season” seem endless and overwhelming? Is it filled with events you’re expected (and/or want) to attend, shopping for gifts, and too much bad eating? When you live with a debilitating chronic health condition, and you’re already in a perpetually tired state and feeling the pressure that comes from not having enough energy to accomplish what you ‘should’, this time of year can put you ‘over the edge’.
For 35 years, I’ve struggled to manage expectations and what I can deliver. It’s gotten easier as I’ve gotten better at it but it’s never simple. And for the past 12 years, as I’ve worked with people with chronically poor health, the stories I hear this time of year share familiar themes.
“Everyone complains that there’s too much to do and not enough time. But don’t they realize what it takes for me just to show up? I’m supposed act festive but I feel different, alone and angry.”
“People make snide comments that I’m not showing up for the Holiday parties. Don’t they know I’m not well? They don’t seem to care enough to even try to understand.”
“My supervisor dumped a new project on me yesterday that he said must be done before I start my vacation next week. Doesn’t he know how much pressure I’m under already? I wanted to tell him that I’m already behind and I can feel that there’s a “flare” coming on but he didn’t seem interested.”
Do you notice that each scenario involves communication? The specifics vary but inevitably it boils down to what is NOT said and the frustration that simmers from this.
I’ve seen that when a person learns to take a more strategic approach to these kinds of interactions, it is possible to make the communication more effective. You can get more of what you want and need and feel better about yourself.
1. What I want and what is possible in this situation?
2. What do I need to know to figure out what action to take?
3. What do I need to say to make that happen?
Over these past 12 years, I continually learn from my clients. One thing I’ve seen is that when you adapt a strategic approach, as laid out above, and then apply specific tactics to what you say and do, you can make big improvements in your life.
For that reason, I decided to revise my Booklet, “Are You Talking?”, in my Career Thrive Series. I kept what worked and added more chapters and new ideas. I plan to revise the other Booklets at some time and the price will most likely go up. But it’s still priced at $10. Now, that’s what I’d call good value for your own holiday gift. Treat yourself!