5 Tips for Dealing with Family During the Holidays - Marriage Counseling in Frederick MD

5 Tips for Dealing with Family During the Holidays

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If you watch any television show, you know that the biggest drama is within the family, right? And that’s probably the same for you. Like all of us, you are getting ready for the biggest season for family gatherings – Thanksgiving. Funny how it is called Thanksgiving and some of us are doing everything BUT give thanks. Worrying, screaming, crying…yeah, all of those emotions could be showing this week. But they don’t have to ruin your holidays. Here are a few tips that can help you make it through the holiday family gatherings. 

  1. Make peace. If there’s an ongoing conflict that can’t be resolved before the event, make it a point to put the whole thing on hold. Set those negative feelings aside for the time being and give yourself permission to enjoy yourself. 
  1. Remember the good times. If one particular person is a challenge, try focusing on the good times. Maybe you’ve known this person your whole life. Surely there are good memories that you can focus on instead of the ones that are causing you trouble. It’s tough to be the bigger person, but in the end, you’ll feel better.
  1. Focus on the food. While you don’t want to go overboard, food can be a nice distraction. There may be quite a spread of appetizers, main courses, and dessert items. Grab your favorites and enjoy. It can help you keep your mind off of the family conflicts.
  1. Come to a quiet resolution. If you simply cannot put a challenge aside, deal with the conflict one on one and with a cool head. Remember there’s a greater good, and you won’t be the one that goes down in history for starting a scene during that reunion or get-together. 
  1. Take a breather. If things start to get too heated for your tastes, temporarily remove yourself from the situation. You can take the dog outside for a walk or play with the little ones. It may be just what you need in order to clear your head and calm down. Decide to put aside your differences until the end of the party, or work out your problem in a way that doesn’t involve fighting. 

Bonus: Adopt a positive attitude. You might be tempted to go to events with a negative attitude. It’s understandable, especially if you’re going to be crossing paths with people that often try to cause conflicts. But if you focus on an optimistic attitude before you even approach these events, you may be able to get through them with a smile.

The holidays are a wonderful time of peace and blessings. Focus on the good things about your family. Let those thoughts guide you through the rough patches. Enjoy!