We’ve all heard the phrase: blood is thicker than water. But as you probably already know (because you did search for this blog), blood isn’t necessarily thicker than water for a lot of people. Family can actually be a source of pain or, at the very least, stressful. And this is only exacerbated during the holidays.
So, if you have to be with family during the holidays, here are some tips on how to deal.
Tip #1: Establish how much time you spend with them.
The caveat: you have to know (and embrace) that the boundary you’ve created might not be acceptable to said family members.
Decide on the amount of time you can tolerate and make up any reason why you can’t stay longer. No one needs to know the truth. Be vague. I don’t think it serves you to say,
“Well, you know what? It’s actually very stressful to be around you.”
People aren’t going to change because you’ve made mention of something that drives you crazy.
Tip #2: It’s not about you.
It (you define the it) will never be enough for some family members. These are often the people who are never going to be satisfied with themselves — so, you have to understand, it’s truly not a reflection of you.
Whenever you’re in a relationship with family or otherwise and you feel like, “No matter how hard I try, they find a reason to nitpick or complain!” — you just have to almost laugh about it and say… “This is about them.” Which leads me into my next tip…
Tip #3: Have a sense of humor.
Go into any potentially frustrating situation making a pact with yourself, beforehand, and promise,
- “I’m just gonna see this as a rom-com!”
- “Not taking things personally tonight!”
- “They’re all just doing their best, God bless ’em!”
Oftentimes, I’ll enter such events predicting the weirdness that might occur:
- He’s gonna raise the awkward topic!
- She’s going to fuss about that!
- They’re going to be so late!
And honestly, I’m never disappointed. If anything, sometimes the turn of events are a nice surprise because he/she/they didn’t do what I anticipated.
But if you can’t laugh about it, then you’ll cry about it. And that doesn’t seem like a good idea.
For many more related tips, plus:
- Why I’ve never really been a fan of the term toxic people
- My permission to say no to family gatherings
- The power of doing for others
Then, check out this episode of The Chalene Show:
And don’t forget to subscribe to TCS for (almost) daily shows aimed at your happiness, productivity and overall wellbeing!