Cheers To The Holidays, Making People Even More Shameless Than They Already Are
Forgive me if it’s just my pregnancy hormones speaking here but is it me or does anyone else feel annoyed and slightly humoured by the shameless holiday messages that start pouring in around this time of year from those random people that are sort of still in your life because they still exist on your Facebook friends list but have basically dropped off and ignored your very existence for the entire 12 months prior to December 25th? Seriously, every year like clock work December inevitably rolls around and the lonely unsolicited messages start flooding your inboxes, leaving you wondering “what was that about??” …insert awkward emoji face. The sudden and very public Facebook photo comment/reach out attempt, or the random “Like” on a pic of your dog from your ex to remind you that they still exist, even though they have ignored every other post of yours for the past 12+ months… or perhaps it’s the super impersonal Instagram DM from that “friend” you haven’t heard from in a year who is clearly wine drunk pouring their heart out to you about how much they miss you and hope that you’re doing well while also trying to make the obligatory fake plans to get together “soon” with no real intensions of following through. I never understood what it is about the holidays that makes people act this way. It clearly comes from a place of loneliness and maybe even a little harmless nostalgia, but do the people who do this seriously think that by reaching out to you once a year over the holiday season suddenly they are making up for the previous year of ghosting you and basically pretending that you didn’t exist? The randomness of it all is what really gets me. I’m guessing that the people who do this are only trying to convince themselves that everything is still good and well in their distant friendships so that they can enter into a new year with a clear conscience and the reassurance that their outer circle is still thriving by doing the bare minimum and sending out a random feeler like “I’m thinking of you” or “I miss you” – when frankly it’s just not true, otherwise, if it were true you wouldn’t be an end of year afterthought for them. And let’s be honest, it just makes things awkward for everyone… not only for the receiving person, but for the sender as well because the response is almost never what you expect or hope for when you’re down in the dumps and suffering from the holiday blues, trying to fill some sort of void by making a desperate last minute attempt at reaching out to someone who is completely out of touch and knows nothing about your current life because you’ve made zero effort to involve them in it up until that point. It all just seems very fake to me and really, what is the meaning behind it? In my mind, by that point we’ve already cut that cord. If I don’t hear from you for an entire year or longer and you randomly pop into my DM’s with a holiday message please don’t expect any sort of genuine reciprocation. Sure I will entertain you with a short and sweet response because I am not a monster or a grinch but please know that on the inside I am definitely judging you for your complete lack of self awareness.
Instead of being the random weirdo who sends awkward holiday texts as a way of staying relevant and then turns into a ghost for the rest of the year, try being present the whole year round. Show up for your people not only when it’s convenient for you. Drop a hello text when you don’t hear from them for a while, or check in when you notice they’re going through changes; anything that might indicate that you actually genuinely care about them which you should if you’re hoping they will be there for you when you’re sad and lonely at Christmas time. Or don’t! It’s your choice. But realize how desperate you might look to those around you who maybe aren’t feeling quite as lonely as you are during the holidays because they have been present for the other 364 days of the year.
I realize that to some this might sound harsh and maybe even a little bitter, and hey you’re probably right. I guess I am just at a point in my life where there is no more room or time for fake friendships but at least I am honest about it. If you are offended by any of this you are likely one of those fair-weather friends that I am referring to above but it’s not too late to stop being a bummer and start being better. Not only to your friends but to yourself. Nobody truly benefits from fake friendships.