During the holiday season, it seems like everyone emerges from the shadows, and you’re bound to bump into familiar faces wherever you go. Whether it’s meeting your childhood best friend’s mom at the grocery store or running into your ex while out with your sister, these encounters can catch you off guard. Here are a few tips to navigate these potentially awkward situations.

To prepare for what could be one of the most uncomfortable encounters of the holiday season (besides the infamous dinner table political debates with family), here are six things to keep in mind when you unexpectedly run into your ex.

1. Recall why the relationship ended

Encountering your ex can evoke a range of emotions, making it easy to get lost in how you feel in that moment. It’s crucial to remind yourself of the reasons behind the breakup, whether it was mutual or one-sided. This can prevent you from dwelling on past grievances that no longer hold relevance.

2. Be kind to yourself if you’re still processing the breakup

If you’re struggling to move on, whether due to lingering feelings or unresolved issues, it’s perfectly normal. Seeing your ex can reopen emotional wounds, so practice self-compassion and allow yourself to feel whatever arises.

3. Focus on positive developments post-breakup

Breakups are tough, but they often lead to personal growth. Rather than dwelling on memories with your ex, reflect on the positive changes in your life since the split. Perhaps you’ve pursued new interests or achieved professional milestones.

4. Your worth is not defined by their opinion

While it’s natural to want to make a good impression, remember that your ex’s validation is no longer paramount. Dress to feel confident, not to seek approval. Your worth isn’t determined by their perceptions.

5. Keep interactions brief and cordial

You’re not obligated to engage in conversation with your ex. A smile and wave can acknowledge their presence without delving into sensitive topics. If dialogue ensues, keep it concise to avoid stirring up old feelings.

6. Respect each other’s privacy

Both parties are entitled to privacy post-breakup. Details about their current life, such as dating or personal matters, are off-limits unless willingly shared. While open communication is encouraged, respect boundaries regarding personal information.


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