Ah…the holidays, a wonderful time of family joy, love, connection and great food…did I mention love?
Love you say?
But Jill my family holidays are more about Drama than love.
Oh, but that’s the fun part, so so much fun IF you change your expectations about family get togethers and love.
Family holiday events are where people who frequently share not much in common beyond DNA feel safe being themselves because they are with “family”. Which means, they let their freak flag fly beyond what they would do in public. So, you get to see who they really are, really really. The good the bad and the crazy racist. This can be fun; it can also be stressful so here is some advice from a person who actually enjoys family drama:
- Don’t fight: Hey, I love to pick fights as much as the next person but usually that’s what the other party being mean to you wants and the best way to win a fight is not to have one. Smile and make notes for your therapist.
- Have a plan: I always had some humorous lines handy for when grandma asking me where my nonexistent boyfriend was, usually I said “Prison” but the “psych ward” was also a good answer. Play with what you will say when you know a zinger is coming.
- Find the funny in all of it. Every writer I have ever met including one writing romance novels said they get their best material from holiday events. One was so brazen about it she would write on napkins at the table and even ask people to repeat really good lines. Loved that!!
- Have a counter event planned for later. At my house we always do “Friends giving” a couple of days after thanksgiving where we get to be around the people, we most want to spend time with. Some family is invited but mostly just real friends.
But Jill I HATE drama, what do I do?
So sorry its not your thing but I have advice so you too.
- Bring a buffer: Like I said people feel safe being crazy in front of relatives but, not so much if there is a witness. Bring a friend.
- Just say “No”: To family events you don’t want to attend. If someone is abusive or you don’t feel safe for any reason, skip the event and go hang out with your friends. You will have more fun anyway and you will be showing yourself love by saying “no” to things that are not loving.
- Think of family as customers or clients: If someone is really hard to get along with, try to think of them as a customer or client. You treat that person politely but don’t accept abuse. They are not your friend, but they don’t need to be an enemy either so be distant and calm.
Know that whatever you decide, you are loved, you are important, and you matter. Do your best to remember that in the face of difficult, racist or just plain crazy family and remember. You are loved!!
Jill K Thomas CHT
Soul Connect Hypnotherapy
Author of the books “Tales from the Trance” & “Feed your Real Hunger”
Appointments available Globally by Video Chat