Not so common courtesies 

Many of us deal with a lot of sensory and anxiety issues due to our PTE. I recently had a simple, likely innocent encounter remind me of the seriousness of such issues for many of us. While I can usually "move on" this time the uneasy feeling lingered and I feel that the holidays are actually the perfect time to discuss the topic of "Common Courtesy" and a few rules to keep you from unknowingly making someone uneasy or even downright uncomfortable. Don't worry it's a short list, though I may add more later!! 

 Rule 1- Don't touch people you don't see or touch often unless of course you KNOW they do not mind. HUGE for KIDS.

                       While I KNOW you want to give your niece or nephew a great big hug after 3 years of not seeing them, pause. Take a look at how they are interacting with others or even, and I know this is crazy but, ASK if they would mind a hug. 

This is DOUBLE true for people you do NOT know. Just don't. Touching is a wonderful thing to some people and it is very healthy to have physical contact with others. HOWEVER, for some, like myself, a simple pat on the back may send them into panic-fight or flight mode. Which is exactly what happened to me after the gentleman selling me my tree decided to place his hand on my shoulder to congratulate me on the choosing of our latest Christmas tree. I may have kept my composure but the feeling in my chest tells me that had it been a "Bad day" I may not have and the situation would have been made all so much worse for everyone. Best to avoid this all together, and BONUS-Less sick germs getting passed around!

Rule 2- Personal questions about a persons body or health are a "No-No".

                      This shouldn't take much explaining but I suppose I don't believe any of them should require much explaining, so I guess I'll hit this one as well as I can. -Sick people HATE talking about their medical issues, especially during celebrations, no better way to throw a damp towel on a party than by jumping into a conversation with "Hows that incurable disease of yours going?". This doesn't mean that those people don't want your support or to talk to you about their health, just not at the party- 

Also- you can add questions about babies or marriage to this list as well! 

Rule 3- Pushing future plans make everyone uncomfortable. 

                       A few years back my mother in law decided to start planning a summer cruise at Christmas. Sounds great right? Well, not for me. See, I have one of those incurable illnesses and I can't commit to things months in advance. The topic itself put everyone on the spot, either say yes-OR- Explain your finances? Your health? Your unrelenting desire to choke them for asking in such a group setting and reminding me that I'm currently broke AF from the recent expenditures??  So, maybe just mention the idea without asking specifics of people. 

                       I know these seem pretty basic, but I'm starting to realize that the basics are getting lost these days. People are either too PC or completely careless with the feelings of others. I move for a little balance. Lets do our best and maybe we can help someone not hate the holidays so much this year :)