How do you deal with difficult family during the holidays?
How do you deal with difficult family during the holidays? Cope with Difficult Relatives During the Holidays Keep family gatherings friendly and conflict-free with these tipsSubject: Holiday - Sub Subject: Family During the Holidays
Date: 6/11/2019 Status: ACTIVE
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❝How do you deal with difficult family during the holidays?❞ answers. technician asked first. Total 3 replies.
Adjust your attitude
If you are already anticipating that a gathering will be stressful, your anxiety may get worse by the time the actual gathering begins, says Thomas C. Lian, MD, a psychiatrist and behavioral health medical director with Scripps Health.
Try focusing on the positive. Before get-togethers with family members, think about the qualities you like about them, rather than focusing on the negative, says Diep Ho, MD, a family medicine physician at Scripps Clinic Rancho San Diego.
Keep potentially upsetting topics off-limits
Politics and religion are obvious, but people also bring up sensitive subjects without thinking about how they might affect others. Are you ever going to get married? may seem harmless, but more likely than not, it will strike a nerve. Plan to keep conversation conflict-free by avoiding potentially sensitive topics, or simply ask whats new and take it from there.
Have realistic expectations
As refreshing as it would be if your Aunt Marge didnt criticize your outfit this year, she probably will. Dont expect people to change when they have behaved in the same way for years. Minimize your contact with difficult relatives, and spend more time interacting with people you like, suggests Dr. Lian.
Dont drink too much
If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation. Some people become aggressive or argumentative when theyve had too much to drink, notes Dr. Lian. If you are one of them, minimize your drinking or stick to non-alcoholic beverages. Avoid people who have had too much to drink, and dont let them drive.
Its difficult to be drawn into an argument when engrossed in an activity that requires concentration, physical activity or laughter, says Dr. Lian. Play a game, go for a walk on the beach or watch a funny holiday movie.
We all do things that irritate other people, and we probably arent aware of it, says Dr. Lian. Try to be tolerant of others quirks and irritating behaviors, and dont take them personally. If nothing else, remember you only have to tolerate the irritation for a little while.
Bring a happy reminder
Looking at a favorite photograph, a funny text from a friend or anything else that makes you smile can go a long way toward relieving stress. When things get too stressful, plan to sneak away and take a break.
Ask for help, but dont expect it
Families are never fair. Work is never equally divided. Thats just the way it is. I am always prepared to do everything, but very happy not to. Wasting time being mad because one person tends to just sit around ruins the whole experience for everyone.
Ask questions and listen to the answers
I am fairly liberal (although I have a lot of conservative friends). My mother-in-law is a Fox News conservative. I am never going to change her mindshes 87 for Gods sake But I have learned a lot by questioning her and trying to understand her opinions, rather than just reacting to them. In her own way, she often makes senseeven though I still disagree.
Nothing is more hurtful or hard to watch than someone criticizing someone else in front of others. Whether its your kids or your spouse or your sister, holidays are a time to suspend critical thinking and just surrender to holiday spirit. If you need to discipline a child, please take the child to a quiet corner or another room and speak respectfully.
If you are doing all the work, make sure you sit down and take breaks and talk to peopleso what if dinner is a little late? I like to spend a little one-on-one time with each person presentto take the conversation at least a tiny step further than just How are you?
Lay off the liquor
I havent had a drink in 10 years. And I dont serve alcohol in my house. Its amazing how much happier my family dinners turn out when no ones crying or acting out after drinking too much. I dont get upset when people bring their own wine to a dinner at my housebut the fact that they might be the only ones drinking seems to help them stay in control.
Find your happy place
For me, its the quiet of my own bed with a nice spicy romance novel after a hard day of hostessing is done. If things get to be too much for you, go outside, take a walk, play with the kids, or find a place to take a nap.
Know that one day, youre going to miss this
Like the Trace Adkins song says, things might seem crazy and chaotic now, but these days are the ones you will look back on and think of as good times. Watching my in-laws and my mother reach the point where they can no longer do all the things that we take for granted really brings this point home for me.
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