We seriously dread the holidays. For us it means family parties, drama, arguments and hurt feelings. It's a tradition we can't escape. My family can't get together without fighting and my spouse's family is even worse. Yet they both manipulate us with guilt into spending time with them. Do you have any advice for surviving the holiday parties with our relatives?
I have a feeling you are not alone on this. According to a MailOnline article, 30 percent of people celebrating Christmas with their relatives admitted they’d rather be elsewhere. For many people, family gatherings are a huge source of tension.
George Burns once said, “Happiness is having a large, loving, caring, close-knit family … in another city.”
Family parties become even more stressful when relatives have experienced problems like divorce or a lost job during the year. These situations can make people even more sensitive and easy to offend. (This has been a rough year for many people, so watch out.)
The study mentioned above also showed that for 60 percent of us, the most stressful thing about the holidays is not credit card debt or buying presents, it’s deciding which side of the family to spend the day with.
Here are some ideas to rule your yule:
If you think you have the goofiest, craziest, most messed up family in the world, remember that almost everyone feels the same way — and messed up as they are, these people are in your life for a reason: They are probably in your life to help you become a better person.
Ask yourself what dealing with your family members could teach you. How could you step it up and show more love and compassion? How could you be a better person?
Make each family gathering a contest to see how loving, mature and calm you can be. You will at least feel good about yourself on the way home.
Kimberly Giles is the founder and president of www.ldslifecoaching.com and www.claritypointcoaching.com.
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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.