Ask Asia: How should I handle holidays with my family?

Asia Duren

Advice Columnist

Q: I think I’m depressed, but I’m afraid people will treat me weird if I go to a doctor for help. I can barely get out of bed for class anymore. How can I stop this on my own? -Semester of Sad
Some people can pull themselves out of it alone, but most of us cannot. I say “us” because I have been there. You are not alone in this. Do not stop yourself from getting help because you think you need to fit into a stereotype. If you are feeling even a little bit overwhelmed, you can make an appointment at the MUW Counseling Center by calling (662)329- 7748 or by dropping by the light blue house at the corner of 11th Street and 4th Avenue. Take a deep breath and seek help. You will get through this.

Q: I started talking to this girl as a friend, but now I think she wants more. I don’t like her like that, and it makes me uncomfortable to keep talking to her like everything is normal. How do I stop talking to this girl without hurting her feelings? -No Love Here
Oh boy, this is a doozie. Honestly, hurt feelings are probably going to be involved no matter what. However, if you are extremely honest, nice and make it clear that you do not want a relationship with her, then everything should be fine. Don’t lie and tell her you are not ready for a relationship at all, because 10 minutes later you could find the girl of your dreams and she’ll feel even worse. If you simply do not want a relationship with her, tell her and explain why. If you lie, you run the risk of her finding out about your real reasons from other people. There is no easy way to avoid hurt feelings, but I promise she will appreciate it more later if you are honest now.

Q: I do not want to go home for Thanksgiving for a lot of reasons, but I don’t want to hurt my family’s feelings. How do I break the news to them that I’m not coming home? –Holiday Elsewhere
I assume you are close to some of your family since you do not want to hurt their feelings, which makes me think you can just be honest with them about why you do not want to come home. They will probably understand. Just make sure you break the news over the phone, on Facetime or in person. Sound loving and genuine, and assure them you will be home for Christmas (as long as that is true).

Q: I was finally able to be myself this semester, but my family doesn’t know about it and would probably disown me if they found out. I can’t just skip the holidays, but how am I supposed to sit across from the table and pretend it’s okay for them to make such horrible comments about people like me? –Trapped
People can love one another and disagree with each other. I am not saying it doesn’t hurt. It definitely hurts. However, pretending it doesn’t just to save face is not healthy for anyone. The reality is that while they love you, they do not understand you. As humans, we are afraid of the unknown. Your parents did not walk the same path as you, so they may not be able to relate the way you think they should. There is a chance that being honest about who you are and how happy you are will change their hearts and open their minds to a different way of seeing things. Explain to them that even if they do not agree with you that they really have to love you because you need it now more than ever. Of course, there is a chance that they will react negatively, and you have to be prepared for either scenario. No matter how they react, remember that with time comes healing and understanding. Above everything else, remember that you have a family here at The W.