“In this season of gratitude and giving and giving and giving, it becomes really hard to hold on to the fact that we are the first person for whom we are responsible. That our needs still matter.”
It’s the holiday season, so let’s talk about resentment, and all of the extra demands that get put upon us by our families, our culture, ourselves. We must remember to meet own met with grace. And The more of that grace we have, the more of it we hand out.
Notes and transcript:
Hey, everyone. Thanks for tuning in.
Today I want to talk about resentment. It's the holiday season and there's so much pressure to be happy, to be thankful, to be joyful, to be everything perfect and sweet and good. And sometimes, we're just not there. Sometimes we're just not there. Sometimes it's too much. Sometimes there have been too many asks, too many demands. Sometimes we're stretched too thin. Sometimes we need more space. Sometimes we're just not there.
And that's extra true for intensives. Because what we need, is what we need. And we need it usually right then. Right? Right exactly on time and the way we need it. Not some other way, not some half-assed substituted something-something. We need what we need, and we need it when we need it. And it cannot wait until Aunt Martha leaves. It cannot wait until the turkey is done. It cannot wait until the day after because it has to happen now. It has to happen this day, or possibly yesterday. But since yesterday is gone, the next best is right now.
And so what now? What now, when we are up against not just the needs and expectations of a house full of other people, but also the needs and expectations of an entire culture. To behave a certain way, to think a certain way, to act a certain way, to feel certain ways at certain moments. On schedule. With the right facial expressions, the right gestures. Don't forget the cards and the gifts. Don't forget to wish the right people the right kinds of Happy Holidays. Don't forget to be happy about the holidays yourself. Don't forget, don't forget, and do and do and do.
And if you have any RSD, if you have any PDA- that's Rejection-Sensitive Dysphoria, and Pathological Demand Avoidance is what they call it technically. But a lot of us are switching that over to Persistent Demand for Autonomy. If you don't like to be told what to do, and you don't like to be rejected, this is a really rough season to be like that in.
Some of us have been lucky enough to cultivate parts of our families to be gentle and sweet and kind and graceful and gracious and forgiving. And when we have that we can give it out. Sometimes. Sometimes. Others of us have not been so lucky or are not so lucky this year, even if we have worked hard at it.
And all we really want, all we really want for Christmas or Hanukkah or Diwali, or Solstice, or just the heart of winter- all we really want is a place to go and be where our needs can be met without an argument. Without justification. Without persuasion. Just I need this and okay.
And that's the thing that makes us capable of being the people that we want to be both in this season and all seasons. That's the thing that makes us capable of extending ourselves a little further, of staying the extra night, of going the extra mile: is having our needs understood and met continuously. At least in some parts of our lives.
The more of that grace we have, the more of it we hand out. It's that simple. And that's why it's so important for us to tend ourselves first. In this season of gratitude and giving and giving and giving, it becomes really hard to hold on to the fact that we are the first person for whom we are responsible. That our needs still matter.
That O. Henry story, the one about the watch and the hair combs. Where the woman cuts off her hair to buy her husband a watch fob, and the husband sells his watch to buy the hair combs for his wife's lovely hair. It teaches a kind of sacrifice, but it also highlights the tragedy in that sacrifice. What if one of them had thought themselves worthy? Had thought that it was more important to find a compromise, to find a way that they could both get their needs met at once?
You know I'm going to bring this back to business.
When we're running our businesses as ourselves, we have to get our needs met, but not at the expense of our people. Our people need to get their needs met but not at our expense. When we prioritize everyone getting their needs met at once- needs met all at once- with a minimum of compromise, with a minimum of sacrifice- prioritizing, obviously, survival needs- creating enough room for more than just that, that is where the business flourishes. That is where imagination and possibility bloom even when it's cold outside.
You matter. Your needs matter. So does everyone else. And there's room for all of us. Thanks for tuning in.