This was first published on KSL.COM
As the holidays approach, I'm feeling deep uncertainty about having family come to visit. We have managed to social distance visit for most of the summer, taking advantage of strictly outdoor, socially distanced visits. With the colder seasons upon us, I feel like physical visits from family outside our home should stop since we cannot be outside for extended periods of time. I know it's the holiday season, but I just do not feel like it's worth it to get together. The problem I face is that I'm feeling pressure from family members to continue to see each other. Even though we have done visits safely all summer, these holiday events would be face-to-face within our home. Masks would not be worn, and it would not be possible to social distance. It seems reckless to me to observe the holidays in typical fashion during a pandemic. How can I maintain the peace and show respect but also keep pandemic boundaries?
In this situation, it sounds like you are going to have to be the bad guy, put your foot down and insist that the family do the right thing and cancel the parties, even if it means having family members angry with you. How do you feel about this? For many people, this is a difficult and scary proposition to share their views in face of opposition.
There are also people who have no problem being the bad guy and sharing their opinion. They think it is easy and struggle to understand why some people can't do it. If you are this type of person (fear of loss dominant, meaning you fear things not being right more than you fear judgment) please understand that for other people (fear of failure dominant, meaning your core fear is inadequacy and feeling not good enough) this is extremely difficult and takes great courage.
There will be many times in life when you will need to enforce a boundary, share an opposing opinion, or deliver bad news in the face of disapproval from people you care about. It is important for you to identify what you are so afraid of before you can beat the fear. See which of these fears resonates with you:
Here are some tips and tricks to help you stand strong and share your views:
You can do this.
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Kimberly Giles is the president and founder of Claritypoint Life Coaching and 12 SHAPES INC. She is an author and professional speaker. She was named one of the top 20 advice gurus in the country by Good Morning America in 2010. She appears regularly on local and national TV and Radio.