“When our relatives are at home, we have to think of all their good points or it would be impossible to endure them.”
~George Bernard Shaw
If you have the perfect relationship with your parents, a beautiful bond with your in-laws, if you enjoy every moment you spend with your extended family around the holiday-season ? this blog is not for you. Actually if that’s you, please skip to the comment area at the bottom and share your secret with us.
Since you’re still reading, chances are that you, like many other people, experience some tension and discomfort during all the time spent with family members during this time.
Here are the best tips I could gather from my clients? experiences throughout the years:
1. Use ?I? statements instead of ?You? statements.
Let’s say that your mother-in-law gets a great sense of satisfaction from cutting you off every time you open your mouth to say something, especially if you look mad when she pushes your buttons.
Communicate your message clearly, using one ?I? sentence (?I would love to tell my story without interruptions?). Don’t point a finger or say ?You always stop me when I say something!? Using the ?I? statement will give you back the power that you might have lost to her.
2. Use facts instead of judgments.
We always have history with our family. You might have a tendency to makes assumptions based on previous experiences (and traumas) and you might be invested emotionally in the situation.
Stick to the facts!
Instead of thinking ?who does she think she is, telling me that my kids have to go to bed earlier? think: ?That’s what she says. Maybe she’s right, maybe she’s wrong. Let me think about the facts. I have the freedom to accept what she says, or not.?
3. Control your attitude.
Remember: you cannot control other people’s attitude but you can control your own. Ask yourself: if she was my best friend (and not my aunt), how would I be loving and kind towards her? Be kind and loving. Forgive. Have a positive attitude. Not because she is nice to you, but because you don’t want to give her so much power and to let her ruin?your holiday. Be what you want to attract towards yourself. You want love and kindness? Be loving and kind.
4. Take time for yourself NO MATTER WHAT.
Even if your house is full of people and you feel responsible for entertaining them, you have to set your boundaries and create time for self care.
5. Do what you WANT and not what you’re EXPECTED to do (At least once a day ).
6. Play the following game with yourself: for each family member, ask yourself the question ? what is she/he here to teach me?
What’s her/his gift? All relationships allow us to learn more about who we are. If we look at others as gifts being offered to us, we might choose to see them as partners on our journey.
My final tip is: sing the song ?I will survive?, have lots of smiles and laughs. You need your sense of humor!
What’s your favorite tip? Please share!