Surviving the holidays - Tips for dealing with hard family relationships
The holiday season is upon us and expectedly, a lot of people are excited about the smell of Christmas. One of the things that make the holidays special is the presence of family. Whether you’ll be going home or your relatives will be paying a visit, much of the excitement surrounding the season is generated by the people we have around us. However, this is only true if you have a positive relationship with your family members.
On the flip side, a strained family relationship can make one dread the holidays. The excitement is replaced by an emptiness that threatens to consume the joy of the holidays. If you happen to find yourself in such a situation, here are some useful tips on how to deal with hard family relationships.
It’s never about you
The first thing you need to realize is that a difficult person will remain a difficult person. Whether you act nice or not, they’re likely to exhibit the same behavior. So, when they nag or do something to irk you, you should know it’s about them, not you. A firm knowledge of this will ensure you do not take things personally. Once you are able to exhibit a reasonable level of calm no matter what they throw at you, there’s a high chance the stressful situation will subside.
Be friends with yourself
A difficult relationship with your family can make you feel alone even in a full house and you should prepare yourself for this. While it’s only natural to need the help of others in certain situations, you shouldn’t depend on them for companionship. Make peace with yourself and learn to be your own friend. Find activities or interests that make you happy and engage in them. You are less likely to interact with or miss anyone if you do not depend on them for companionship.
Accept them for who they are
At the end of it all, your family is your family. Being murky and edgy all through the holiday can affect your mental health. Perhaps, there’ll be less friction around the home if you accept your family members for who they are. The acceptance effectively dissolves the air of hostility that builds up whenever you are around the difficult family member.
Have an escape plan
It doesn’t have to be a ‘Prison Break’ level escape plan. Just have a place you can go until the heat turns down. This plan is useful for avoiding heated arguments and the nagging that follows such arguments. Avoiding such situations gives you time to cool off. And you can come back with your head straight, safe in the knowledge that you are not likely to say something you’ll regret.
Dealing with hard family relationships could be tough on anyone. As much as possible, it’s better to make moves to reconcile when family ties become strained. If that doesn’t happen before the next holiday or if the concerned individual decides to be unreasonable, you can trust the tips shared to get you through the difficult times.