Holiday Mastery: Parry The Pushers

I have a love/hate relationship with the holidays. I love the lights, the smell of cinnamon and pine, connecting with family and old friends, slowing down, taking well-deserved time away from the daily routine.


I hate the explosion of holiday goodies that suddenly appear everywhere — the cookie platter at my hair salon, the chocolate towers at the front door, the eggnog that tastes too good, the parties with tiny innocent-looking but dangerous cocktail franks, the way too creamy artichoke dip, and of course, the same question I heard last year… 

“Why are you still single?”

I’m a food and dating coach, but I’m not immune to these same holiday struggles. Navigating the festivities while maintaining weight (and sanity) in the midst of well-meaning friends/relatives offering their prized relationship advice is not for the hot-tempered, or faint-hearted. 

Throughout the season of indulgence, these same well-meaning friends and family members may also encourage us to indulge — it’s the holiday season, isn’t it?! You can probably hear their pleas already:

“C’mon … just one bite won’t kill you!”

“But I made this especially for you!”

“You can lose weight (and look for a man/woman) after the holidays!”

Tough situations call for tough discipline, which is further challenged after a couple sips of eggnog. To guarantee we come through the season with peace, joy and ease, I came up with a strategy to quell even our most nudging loved-ones.

For the food pushers, use these three little words. They work like holiday magic!


You might have murmured these three words in the past, but if you weren’t convincing enough to stop that huge slice of pumpkin cheesecake from being shoved in your face, it’s likely because you missed the most important element of effectiveness: your tone.

It’s all in the delivery. These three words delivered firmly and decisively, will do the trick. The second key component is to add a big smile as you say, “No, thank you.”

Practice saying it again and again. You will get better at it, and don’t forget that smile.

Now, let’s handle those relationship pushers.

Employ the same tone and smile in response to relationship pushers, and try saying: 

“I’m enjoying the holidays today and it’s so good to see you/I love your new haircut/did you catch that play on Broadway, etc…”

In short, re-route the pushers. 

Do not feel compelled to explain or justify your choices or current relationship status. Doing so removes boundaries, granting permission to the pushers to move-in, ask questions, and offer unsolicited advice.

As you perfect your new skills, you will become a master at gracefully refusing food and shifting relationship probing. You will walk away without guilt, regret, hard feelings, awkwardness, or discomfort. You’ll get through the holidays with ease and confidence, so you can truly enjoy a wonderful, joyful, and peaceful season.

Eat Date Love, 

Brigitte Weil, Tawkify Matchmaker, Chef + Founder, I Hate Celery Sticks
For more information on Brigitte, click here

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