Just forward this to the adults coming to Thanksgiving. You’re welcome, in advance.

Just forward this to the adults coming to Thanksgiving. You’re welcome, in advance.

Dear Well-intended Adult:

I don’t know how long it’s been since you were a kid, or a young adult, or a human with the painful awareness that your life is imperfect. 

If this was forwarded to you, I’m guessing it’s been a while since the thought of an approaching holiday like Thanksgiving sent a chill up your spine, or made your stomach lurch, or made you pray you’d miss your flight home.

Maybe you’re surprised to hear that a holiday could provoke such a negative, visceral reaction in anyone.

As a shrink in her third decade of practice, I can confirm with authority that dreading the holiday season is something of a universal, young adult experience.

In the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving, my office is bursting with 20-somethings and 30-somethings who are flooded with anxiety at the thought of facing loved ones.

It’s not that they don’t love you. They adore you. They just dread talking to you.

Actually, it’s not talking to you that they abhor so much as the insensitive cross-examination, I mean, the questions that they find themselves on the receiving end of.

Questions which, no doubt, are intended to help you get to know these young people better.

The problem is, the questions you tend to ask suck.

They really don’t spawn deep insights into the Millennials in your life.

But the answers to your questions, now those leave the kids feeling naked at the table.

Naked in need of a wax. And a workout.

Their answers underscore where they rank on the Young Adult To Do List.

The Young Adult To Do List is more conceptual than it is real.

 Even so, everyone knows what’s on it:

  • Graduate high school.

  • Go to college.

  • Pick a lucrative, employable major.

  • Begin a serious, heterosexual relationship.

  • Be offered a job before graduating or within a month or two of graduating.

  • Become self-reliant (read: stop taking money from your parents) the moment you begin working.

  • Work your ass off at your job. Also, remain in that long-term, heterosexual relationship.

  • Get promoted. A lot.

  • Get engaged.

  • Get married.

  • Make babies.

The achievements on this list are sequential. If you achieve any of them in a different order, they count against you.

Also, while you’re busily crossing off the above-referenced successes, you’re expected not to wind up in jail, on drugs, in debt, or in trouble.

All of this is to say that Millennials approach the Thanksgiving dinner table with the same level of enthusiasm that a dog who’s being led to a poop accident feels.

Every year I write a list of SAY THIS INSTEAD OF THAT’s, hoping you’ll read it.

This year I’m feeling a little snarky, a little sassy, so I’ve decided to provide you with an incomplete list of Douchebag Questions, which, if asked, will make the young people at your table feel less-than, not good enough, and generally, really shitty.

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We Have To Talk: 7 Tips To Get You Through It

We Have To Talk: 7 Tips To Get You Through It

Admit it: The term we have to talk sends a little shiver up your spine. It’s probably one of the most universally dreaded statements. I’m not sure if it’s worse to be on the receiving or giving end, but for today’s purpose, I’m going to teach you how to be on the giving end (without ever uttering that sentence).

Conflict and bad feelings only get worse when we avoid dealing with them. We tend to avoid difficult conversations for fear of the outcome. We don’t want things to get worse, we don’t believe the other person will change, we don’t have the time or it’s just not the right time.  The excuses are endless. And they stop here.

Here is a step-by-step guide to getting you to the other side of a difficult conversation. Grab your balls, your ovaries, or your equivalent thereof and commit today to build some emotional muscles by learning this life skill.

Click below to read my Answer!

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I Love You. Now Change.

I Love You. Now Change.

Everyone wants their partner to change.

“Why can’t he be more romantic?”
“If only we had more sex [hotter sex; less sex; any sex], I’d have no complaints.”
“I just want her to make me a priority.”

In my (gasp) 22-year career, the one constant among my clients is that each has believed with every fiber of her being that the key to her relationship success rested in her partner’s willingness to change.

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