Here we are again pouncing on yet another opportunity to gather with family near and far. This may or may not bring you anxiety. If it doesn’t, you might just skip this entry and move on to Pinterest. If you already have prescription medication to cope with the drama or you simply want a way to ease the discomfort you are feeling, then here are five ways (they work for me) to bring the word “jolly” to the season.
1. QTIP (Quit Taking It Personal)
Aunt LuLu has always been a royal pain in the ass. She doesn’t like anything or anyone. Stop trying to overcompensate and please her. It won’t work. It isn’t about you. Some people are simply miserable and they spread it around with ease. You are enough!
2. Listen Up
We are conditioned to listen in order to respond instead of listening to simply hear. People just want to be heard, affirmed, and validated. Use the acronym WAIT (Why Am I Talking). It works.
3. Stay in the safe zone for conversations
Here is an idea……have a bowl in the middle of the table with conversation topics. None of the topics should be politics, religion, or anything that would spark controversy. Have people select one and those are the things discussed. It provides a safe haven for polite exchanges. Oh, and leave the Trump wig at home. That will probably get you an invitation to leave. If that is your goal, then go for it!
4. Don’t Overshare
If you don’t want people to know something, don’t share it. Especially if it is something private that you wouldn’t want shared with the public at large. We all love our families, but honestly, some of them have loose lips. Keep it light and polite.
Yep…..bring God in…..I swear it is a lifesaver. Invite Him to the gathering. It really does make a difference. For me, it provides a sense of peace and well-being. Remember, your mood isn’t contingent on other people’s behavior. If they are swirling, I say let them swirl.
The bottom line is treat the holidays as any other day. It will pass. Your family will move on and the holidays will be a distant memory. If none of those things work, then find a new family. They will probably make yours look much better!