Family. Love them or loathe them, you are always going to come into conflict with them. ESPECIALLY around the holiday season when everyone’s stress levels are running as high as possible.
As someone who has had their fair share of family drama over the years, this blog post is about learning how to survive your family and the drama they may cause you at the holidays.
A small disclaimer, I love my family (most of them). I really do. I would do anything for (some of) them. Please do not think that I am a horrific person who hates my family. That is not the case whatsoever. This post is written in humour, but also I stand by my opinion that every family comes into some sort of strife at Christmas. Whether it be an argument about politics, another family member, or the fact that someone doesn’t like the potatoes, tension will always find a way to creep into the day.
1. Avoid certain conversations.
If you know that certain conversations or topics are going to cause an argument or controversy, just don’t bring them up. And ask everyone else to avoid them. What is the point in engaging in a conversation that’s going to cause everyone else stress? Just change the subject and move on as swiftly as possible.
2. Learn and practice meditation.
Sometimes only patience can help you. Meditation is a great way to slow down your reactive system and allow you the space to think before you speak. Meditation has saved me so many times and I highly recommend you try it out everyday a week leading up to Christmas Day and you’ll be considerably calmer than you would have been without it!
3. Map out the answers to the questions you know you’ll be asked.
If you know there are going to be awkward questions that you don’t want to answer, plan out your answers in your head beforehand. This way you’ll have your answer ready and can quickly divert the attention away from yourself by turning a question back around on them. Problem solved!
4. Avoid certain members.
If there are certain family members that cause you anxiety, that you really don’t get on with, or that you’d just rather not see, just don’t. It’s not a crime to avoid people for the sake of your mental health, it’s actually incredibly brave of you. If you absolutely have to see them, just keep to yourself as much as possible, be polite but withdrawn and do whatever you need to in order to get through the situation.
5. Accept that you will never please anyone.
In life, no one is going to agree all the time. And when a large group of people get together for a big occasion, there are bound to be some tensions. At the end of the day, you are never going to please everyone. Once you make your peace with that (and I know how hard that is because I am both a perfectionist AND a people-pleaser), then everything just becomes 10 times less stressful. Just try to enjoy the day!
Those were my top tips to surviving your family this Christmas season. Do you struggle with family around this time of year? How do you manage it? I’d love some extra tips to try out!