Dealing with stressful family drama during the holidays

The holidays are expected to be a joyful time spent with family. However, it isn’t always that way. Sometimes, passive-aggressive comments & invasive questions can put you in uncomfortable positions and just downright make you unhappy. The strife can sometimes be so intense that you may have second-guessed being around certain family members the following year.

Before you begin stressing out and allowing the drama to ruin your holiday mood, below are a few tips to help you deal with the family drama this season.

Inspire Fun Activities

While you cannot control everything that happens with family during the holidays, you can definitely spark some fun activities that could positively shift the mood in the room. Encourage your family to go around the table and share one thing that they’re grateful for, starting with you. Other fun activities to consider are bringing interactive games to play and bringing funny movies for everyone to watch. All of these ideas can help to encourage group participation and set a light-hearted mood

Don’t Let Them Control Your Feelings

Always remember that no one can control your emotions without your permission. You can’t stop your family from asking rude questions and bringing up controversial topics. But you can control your feelings and reaction. It’s simple. Don’t engage. You can even say, “Let’s not get into that” or “I don’t want to talk about that right now.” No one can force you to engage and before you become too overwhelmed, remember that you don’t have to sit there and absorb what you can’t handle. Remember that you can respectfully get up, walk away, and continue to enjoy your holiday.

Consider Their Perspective

As challenging as it may be dealing with certain family members, sometimes it helps to understand where they’re coming from. We only see some family members once or twice a year. As annoying as family can sometimes be, they love you. Many of their comments aren’t intended to hurt your feelings, but to help you consider an alternative option. Many of their questions aren’t meant to be invasive, but to get an update on your life, considering their limited opportunities to see you and engage in personal conversations. Knowing that your relatives mean well might not suddenly make you happy about their questions and comments, but it should help you take it not so personally.

Don’t let your family burst your holiday bubble. Decide that you will remain positive, enjoy yourself, and avoid the negativity. Commit to it. Regardless of your family’s opinions of your life’s decisions, remind yourself that you are doing the best you can. Also remember that their opinion of you is more of a reflection of them, rather than of you. What they think about you is not who you are.  

At CWC Coaching, our team consists of licensed therapists, life coaches, and counselors. We assist clients with self-improvement, career development, negative self-talk, psychological pain, self-sabotaging behavior, past hurts and finding your purpose. If you are ready to increase your self-awareness and happiness, breakthrough limiting behavior and understand your purpose in life, we’d love to help guide you on this journey.

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