How to Deal With Running into Blasts from Your Past

The holiday season: When your parents pay for you to come home to see them, when they cook for you and host you for parties and give you gifts — what’s not to love?

What’s not to love is being stranded in your hometown, away from the big city, when the streets are reminiscent of the opening scene in Vanilla Sky: empty AF. There’s nothing open but the local bar and Timmy’s and maybe a few restaurants? So if you do want to leave your parents house, which obviously you do because you’re human and how long can you sit watching shows on the Food Network in a row? And so, with few options of places to go, shit can get awkward ASAP, especially since you’re bound to run into blasts from the past including but not limited to: exes, frenemies, exes’ friends, friends you grew out of and that guy that performs in that band at your local, that you once hooked up with then immediately regretted but can’t seem to live down.

So do you have to go up to them and say hi and be the bigger person? Or can you casually hide under your toque and a scarf and pretend you didn’t see them, while willing with all your might that they don’t approach you? If this were a Sex and the City episode and I were Carrie, I wouldn’t be able to help but wonder, is it better to avoid someone you prefer not to see rather than faking it when you see them?

Sadly, it’s not. Because we’re adults now, allegedly. And adulthood is about owning our own shit and being a bigger person. It’s about handling the awkward before it handles you.

So what, pray tell should you do when you run into blasts from the past this holiday season? Address said people immediately. When you see someone from across the way, hone into your inner confidence, pull your shoulders back and head up and strut on over and be the first to say hello, give a kiss on the cheek (or two, if that’s your thing #airkiss) say happy holidays, and then keep walking. Walk to the washroom. Walk to the bar and order a shot. Walk onto the dance floor. Hell, walk out into the ocean! Just make it quick. Make it polite. And make an exit.

Someone might have broken your heart once before, so you don’t need to approach them and strike up fake convo just so you can hear all about his new fiancé©e and the engagement and the wedding plans and see the ring, etc., etc., etc. But this person was once a part of your life (for better or for worse,) so by ignoring them altogether, you’re hurting yourself more than them. Grudges never work how you like them to. Maybe if you just say a hello, give a casual hug and walk away into your night, you don’t need to waste your time and energy in your head wondering what you should do, or looking over your shoulders to see if they’re approaching. And maybe, just maybe, if you act as if it doesn’t bother you, maybe it just won’t.

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