Does your extended family cause you anger and anguish or is it a source of strength? Not everyone has a close-knit family who can playfully tease about childhood mishaps and move seamlessly into dispensing wise advice without judgment regardless of what you see in the movies or commercials.
It is true when I say that a lot of individuals do not have a good relationship with family but have to learn how to deal with them during holidays. It is essential to note that your go-to strategies may not be enough since the holidays heighten emotions and nostalgia.
Try adding these tips to your survival toolbox if you’re unsure of how to face the family gathering this year.
A Sense of Humor
Take a metaphorical step back and laugh when it all gets to be too much. Just pretend that you are a character in a movie or in a dark comedy, it might be helpful. During difficult times this exercise may help you reframe your current situation and help you see the humor. Do not just start laughing out loud.
A Sense of Timing
Take the first steps towards building a better family gathering with an improved sense of timing. Identify the moment things took a turn for the worse by going back to the past. You will be able to identify triggers through this exercise and escape in time. To avoid major headaches you can prioritize to work on your sense.
A Sense of Understanding
The old saying about walking a mile in someone else’s shoes counts for family members too. It doesn’t mean you know them as adults regardless of the fact that you may share a bloodline or childhood experiences. Try to remember your relatives may be hurting too and do your best to extend a little bit of understanding to them. Just like you can’t accept abuse from family members, giving a little grace to your relatives won’t hurt either.
A Sense of Love
Find that connection between you and family and hold on it tightly. Let the love reminds you of the connection that you have with those people. If that doesn’t work you have no option but to put self-love first. A sense of love can save you from being hurt by others and at the same time serve as a reminder of why you are putting yourself through another family gathering.
You will approach family gatherings with a better mindset or an improved escape plan if you gain a better understanding of your relatives and the underlying complexities of your dynamics. These tools will help you survive your family and make your heart whole regardless of them giving you a renewed sense of affection for your relatives or a profound sense of appreciation for your “found family” of friends.