Are you dreading the holidays?
Getting together with difficult family members this holiday season? While commercials and music tend to paint the holidays as a time that’s easily filled with love and laughter, the reality is… many of us find this time of year stressful. There’s conflicts that seem to surface every year. There’s those relatives who are just unpleasant to be around. Or maybe you’re going through a tough time and you’re just dreading the holidays in general.
Even if your family is a battlefield, or you are super stressed-out, you can survive the holidays. In fact, you can turn Christmas or Hanukkah or New Years into one of the best holidays you’ve ever had.
Here’s a video I created to help you through the holidays. Watch it to learn proven steps that will help you deal with difficult family and make the holidays happy. Then read on below for even more advice!
So as I said in the video, exuding love and gratitude will make a huge difference for YOU! Here are some more tips to help you deal with difficult family during the holidays.
1. Shock your troublesome ‘bad egg’ relatives into being cordial or even likable.
List three things, even small things, like hair color or crossword puzzle ability, you truly appreciate about them. Work these things into your conversation in an authentic way at the beginning of the family visit. This will tend to shock these ‘bad eggs’ into being ‘good eggs.’
2. Use the therapist’s secret.
When you’re facing a battle-axe relative, win by refusing to fight. Accept comments that used to upset you with a nod and say “That’s the way you see it.” This really throws them and saves you from a lot of holiday stress.
3. Neutralize joy-kill fighting among your kids.
Get all of your kids, even your youngest, into helping to prepare for the holiday. Have them set the table, decorate, slice and dice. This key piece of family relationship advice will engage the children’s attention, give them something to be proud of and stop any fighting.
4. Set your intention for this holiday.
You can make up your mind to have a happy holiday, no matter what your family relationships are like. Decide something like, “This is the happiest Christmas or Hanukkah I’ve ever had.” Remember to use the present tense. Instead of engaging in family relationship battles, as soon as it’s possible, give yourself your own fun—excuse yourself and go for a walk or make snow angels with the kids.
5. Stop worrying about looking good.
Say you’re having your in-laws over for dinner and you’re nervous. Realize that it’s not about having a house that is perfect: it’s about what it feels like when people come into your house. If you’re all-consumed with the decorations, table setting and the food being perfect, you’ll end up exhausted, miserable, or fighting with your kids and husband. Your real job is to create celebration, fun and joy
6. Create a tradition of personal sharing and gratitude.
Around the dinner table ask each family member to talk about favorite memories of the holiday, especially the blessings and small miracles they experienced. Have them share what they are most thankful for on this special day. Research shows that the happiest people are the ones who are grateful for what they have.
7. Set up a positive bond when a new boy/girlfriend comes to a dinner with your family.
Here’s some key family relationship advice when introducing a new love interest. Beforehand, tell both the family and your friend all the “good news” about each other. Introduce discussion topics both have interest in. If you are the newbie in the family, bring an incredibly thoughtful gift for the occasion, ask questions and listen a lot. Appreciate any and all good things about the meal, the house and the family members and remember to tell them what you enjoyed!
8. Give the gift of quality time.
A massage, a long walk-and-talk, a romantic getaway or a family trip involve giving of yourself—your time and attention, which is the most valuable gift of all.
9. Bring spirituality back into the holiday.
Pray, meditate or simply spend time in nature alone or with your loved ones. This offers you ‘peace on earth’ that is much more fulfilling than unwrapping a hundred gifts.
10. Do three random acts of kindness every day during the holiday season.
Unselfish acts of giving where you expect nothing in return are super good for your own health and mood.
Wishing you the happiest of holidays!
P.S. What is your greatest wish for the coming year? If it involves meeting the one, getting married or improving the relationship you have, please accept this special gift from me: A complimentary coaching session with one of my Love Mentor® dating and relationship coaches. This program is so successful it’s been featured in the New York Times! Go here for details.