Wednesday, November 24, 2010
No one can get your goat as quick as family can. We somehow think that because they are supposed to love us, they should behave more lovingly and respectfully but family isn’t always loving and respectful in the way that YOU think they should be. We’ve all got different views on how the world should be and you can find those that agree with you but that agreement still won’t make you right and still won’t get that family member to respect you the way you feel you should be respected. People are people and blood doesn’t always seem to be thicker than water. Just know that you have choices to make…simple things like deciding not to take anything personally when spoken by certain wounded family members out for the whole “misery loves company thing.” You can choose to fight back too but that is just really exhausting and not healthy for you and I strongly advise against it. You can decide to hide your goat better and vent with a friend after the family gathering is gone. You can decide to give up the goat(by give up the goat I mean don't give credence to insult or attempt at emotional injury by loving yourself enough to know it does not matter what anyone else says or thinks about you but you) and not be bothered by anything anyone says to you. You can also reset your expectations about how family should behave and realize they are just people and may not act as you believe they should.
Other things that you can do around the holidays and to prepare for family gatherings is to make sure you keep up your exercise routines, make time for walks, do your best to get rest and take timeouts to gain peace in the midst of preparations, ask for help and do your best to think really positive. This is the same advice to consider every day but especially around the holidays. If you are not tired or taxed to your limits you will be much better equipped to deal with challenging holiday preparations and tough familial exchanges should they occur. One very important thing to remember and it matters not one bit who you are talking to but YOU have the right to terminate ANY discussion or conversation that you find demeaning, insulting or that makes you uncomfortable. You are NOT a better family member for continuing any discussions that make you feel bad…just stop them as politely as you can…a simple, "I’d prefer not to discuss this further with you right now, let’s focus on the family gathering," is a polite and tactful way to head off a potential emotional blow up…oh, and the drinking…if you have challenging family members, monitor your alcohol consumption and if you have to, plan to leave before any challenging family members have consumed too much.
Enjoy time with family over the holidays but don’t forget that you do NOT have to compromise yourself in a very negative way just because it’s the holidays. Set boundaries for yourself and others, set goals for yourself and set your own expectations reasonably in order to head off challenging interactions. If you can make these preparations a key point of focus, you might just have a better time, be able to step out of or head off any uncomfortable discussions and find a way to just have a good time.
I hope your Thanksgiving Holiday is joyous, peaceful and filled with love! Blessings!