Today, we're talking to Carolyn Hax, the advice columnist for The Post, and she's helping us answer some questions that we've had about navigating this time of year.
The holiday season is always complicated.
But if you throw in a pandemic that keeps changing, things are getting a little weird right now.
We had Carolyn on earlier this year to talk about how to navigate life post-vaccination, and we called her again ahead of the holidays to help talk us through these sticky social situations that come up when we're trying to gather with friends and family safely.
We've got a bunch of great questions from readers and listeners.
But first, I wanted to ask a question of my own.
So, Carolyn, I think that for a lot of people who are seeing their families for the first time in a long time because of COVID, one thing that can come up is checking in about healthcare stuff or medical stuff.
Like, you can see someone for the first time, you're like, “Oh, have you been seeing the dentist? Have you been seeing the cardiologist? Have you been seeing the eye doctor?
比如，当你第一次见到某人时，你会问:“哦，你去看牙医了吗? 你去心脏病科看医生了吗? 你去看眼科医生了吗?
Like all of a sudden, I realize you can't see anything, or I think you need a hearing aid, or you haven't been going to P.T.”
Or, you know, like these things that come up that when you're talking over the phone, you don't realize haven't been happening, and then all of a sudden you want to pester your family members about trying to keep on top of things having to do with their health.
And so, what is your advice for navigating those kind of situations and whether you should even attempt to do that at the holidays?
Like, talk to your family members about being more proactive or on top of what they need to get done to stay healthy?
I tend to be on the radical side of leaving people to their own care.
And we're talking now about seeing people for the first time in years and in a holiday family setting.
That's an occasion for even more restraint on topics like that.
And I realize it can be really difficult when you see that somebody has deteriorated and you want to say, "Wait, no, you know, take care of yourself for me."
If you could set that aside for just appreciating the person.
I mean, the reason you're caring about their health is that you want them around.
And so at the moment, you have them around.
So enjoy that and spend your time with that person.
And if in the course of natural catching up or natural togetherness these things come up, then okay, get involved, but also get involved in an inquisitive way instead of a commanding way.
You know, "I see you're not taking care of yourself" -- no, that's not really going to make anybody feel inclined to go call a doctor.
But if you say, "Hey, how is it with such-and-such? How is that doing? Are you okay? Is there anything I can do?"
但如果你说，“嘿，这样那样怎么样? 那是怎么回事? 你还好吗? 有什么我能做的吗?”
I think more of a seeing how they're taking care of themselves as a loving and interested party, but that can even wait till after.
I mean, right now you have a moment to be in each other's presence, and a conversation like that can happen over the phone or over Zoom.
And so maybe once you've enjoyed some time together, then you can say, "Hey" -- you know, if you're feeling really concerned and if you have standing to do this.
And that's the other really important thing, which could be a whole other answer.
But if you have standing to get involved, then you might say, "Hey, it was really great seeing you. I was concerned about 'blank.'"