See what I did there? You’ll only know if your child is a fan of Llama Llama stories. In that book, Llama (the child) causes the drama. In this version, it’s about everyone else in your family. Grandma, Uncle Earl, Sister Steph, your Mom, maybe even your in-laws. Many of my clients have already began bracing themselves and planning how they are going to survive this holiday season with their family.
Holidays can be the most joyous time of year and/or the most stressful. Many people celebrate the holidays with people they don’t generally see. It seems to be the time of year people are forced to spend time together whether they want to or not. It’s a time you see the cousin who was terribly mean to you as a child and still seems to be a bully now or a family member who insists on talking about politics even though they know you don’t have the same views. Too much wine, stress and bad manners can make the most magical time of year turn into the most torturous. So, how can you not only survive it, but love it??? I’ll tell you!
- Keep your distance. If you know there is a particular person that triggers you or stirs up trouble, stay away from them. Say hi, smile politely and move on. There are other people to talk to and, if not, pretend there is something super important happening on your phone.
- Keep your visit short. Don’t feel the need to come super early or linger. Everyone has their own threshold. Even if you love your family, a few hours might be all you can handle. You do you.
- Bring a buddy. A buddy, whether it’s a best friend or someone you are dating, can be a great buffer. You have someone else you can talk to and people tend to be on better behavior when there’s someone around they don’t know. We always act better in front of strangers than we do our family, right??
- Get busy. Ask the host what you can help with. Take on a job. It’ll make it easier to avoid awkward and unwanted conversations.
- AND HERE IS A BIGGIE… READY??? DON’T GO! I know, that’s crazy right? I don’t know, is it? It’s your holiday too. It’s your life and your happiness. If you’d rather take a vacation instead of going to Aunt Lucy’s house for Christmas, do it! You’d rather host a Friendsgiving instead? Do it! Might you make others upset? Maybe. You’ll need to think about what matters to you most.
- Think positively. Go into the situation believing it will go well. It will be more likely to.
Good luck! Let me know what you’re struggling with this holiday season.