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How to Deal with Difficult Family Members During the Holiday Season

For most of us, the holidays are the time to celebrate with our loved ones. But not everyone enjoys the holidays as much as the others. There are family members who dread the idea of holidays looming large on their horizons. Well, if this sounds familiar, don’t worry. Here are three ways approved by the top family counselors to deal with holiday anxiety.

Have Clear Boundaries

Certain family members can rub you the wrong way. There is an avalanche of negative emotions that can impact your holidays. So, think before the holidays and find out how much time you want to spend with them. You don’t have to spend a lot of time together, instead see if you can just spend a few hours with them.

Also, sometimes staying put at your family home can turn out to be pretty stressful for you. You may feel there is no relief from them. So, in cases like this, consider staying at a hotel nearby, so that you get some time off from constant pressure to behave a certain way. You can escape to a hotel room at night and relax away from the people who cause you distress.

Avoid Uncomfortable Conversations

Sometimes some topics may cause you more stress. So in some cases, you may want to change the topic, especially when you do not like to change the way the conversation is heading. Or better still, you may think of an exit route, ‘someone is calling me.’ is the best way to exit an uncomfortable conversation gracefully.

Be Flexible

The world at large is a diverse place to live in. Everyone looks at things differently. Your point of view is maybe different from another family member. So, always think of giving them the benefit of the doubt. That means stop being rigid and paranoid of everything.

Also, if you cannot bear the fact that someone may have a different perspective on the topic, it’s best to avoid discussing such issues. There are scores of neutral topics that you can discuss, which may not cause any distress to either you or your warring party.

Forget and Forgive

Forgiveness plays a big part in beating stress. When you nurse a lot of hate against a close family member, it can affect you more than you are willing to agree—letting go sets you free. You feel unburdened and feel a big part of your burden lifted from your chest. So, if you are meeting up with someone who you hate in the holiday season, consider letting go of your hate. Visualizations and affirmations work well, in this regard. Don’t feel you are losing a battle instead. You can think you are empowering to rise above the battle.

Talk to a therapist who will help you cope with these negative feelings. Conversation works wonders. It heals you and makes you feel better. Also, not everything can be resolved in an instant or with only one conversation. But one conversation can set the ball rolling; you have a better understanding of things. When you are all sorted within, you can respond and deal with situations better. Please give it a thought and stop holding grudges too long. Life is too short to dabble in just hate. Consider forgiving. You may not realize the positivity it may fill you up with.

Focus On The Good Times

Holidays may turn out to be a stressful time for some people, and if you are one of them, don’t worry. Remember that controlling every aspect of the gathering is not humanely possible. Wanting to do so will only add to your stress. Instead, focus on the bigger picture, count your blessings, and embrace the festive spirit.

You can decide and visualize exactly the holiday you want to spend and then work towards realizing your goal. Also, do not be hard on yourself. You may still not be able to put up an exemplary behavior under challenging situations. However, one slip-up does not mean you have lost it, and all your efforts have gone in vain. Give yourself time. You will surely get out of a messy situation and get back to trying again. So, remember to let go and forget the past!

The holidays are meant to spread love and not spew hate, so let’s focus on that.

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