It’s the “Awkward Moments” time of the year – prying personal questions, everyone trying to impress each other by putting up a fake front.

Leslie Ehm, author of “Swagger: Unleash Everything You Are and Become Everything You Want,” has identified holiday talk that people dread but can prepare for:

Seeing anyone lately? When do you think he will propose? I really want grandkids! Don’t let others try to convince you that you are not good enough or that you need to be at a certain stage in your life. We are all constantly evolving, and we all move at our own pace. Look them straight in the eyes and tell them things will unfold when they’re ready to and that you are perfectly content with the way things are.

How come you still have those piercings? Did you get more tattoos? And why do you wear those clothes? People don’t have to love the real you and that’s okay! So-called imperfections are what often bring the flavor to the recipe of our uniqueness. The secret is accepting and even embracing it. Otherwise, we’re trying to make ourselves vanilla, and that’s boring. If you’re more of a spicy mocha choca double twist kind of a person, be proud of it. Nothing in the world feels better than keeping it real.

Did you ever go back and finish school? You were so smart! You are not your history. Stop telling yourself about the past, or that you haven’t realized your full potential. Instead, focus on where you are going. When responding to people, focus on the present and future.

Today, I am doing… Today, I am working toward… Today, I accomplished… If you stay stuck in believing your history, you’ll be dragging on the ground mired in self-doubt and insecurity, and that’s how others will see you, too.

Can you believe this darn President? Did you vote for him? Before speaking, ask yourself if your truth may reflect negatively on the perception of others at that moment. If so, shut your mouth and wait until you have the appropriate person alone in order to achieve your well-intentioned goal. It’s one thing to be true to yourself and be who you really are. There’s also something to be said about playing it cool and not adding fire to an already heated discussion.

You need to be more like your siblings and get a real job! Comparing yourself to others is a waste of time. It’s pretty darn liberating to stop comparing. No one’s true self is better than anyone else’s. Being “your best self” is completely subjective. As humans, we are naturally messy, flawed, inconsistent, and reactive. Gazing adoringly at another human and envying their seeming charisma or personality can’t be a measurement tool.

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