Avoiding Holiday Family Disasters

The upcoming holidays are supposed to be happy days.

After all we see media fantasies about a level of happiness that is simply not possible where human beings come together at a time of great stress.

Add family to that and we often have the recipe for unhappy holidays and worse yet relationship disasters that we pay for well into the next year.

Let’s change some of that this year.

  1. These are your holidays, too.  You are not required to make yourself miserable and unhappy to make others happy.
  2. Give for the sake of giving and don’t expect or even accept a report card for your efforts.  You have Thanksgiving dinner because it makes you feel good to do it.  You pick up a dinner check because you want to.  Keep expectations low and motivation high – giving is your personal reward.
  3. With humans, expect ingratitude and when you get appreciation accept it as a special gift you were not expecting.
  4. Troublemakers – sometimes in our own families – should not be encouraged.  Walk away and avoid fights because you will never win them and tolerating such behavior almost always encourages more bad behavior. And the holidays bring the crazies out of lots of families.
  5. The best suggestion I ever heard to get around all the mayhem from holiday family gathers comes from the Mayo Clinic Physician Amit Sood who says take a moment to count the number of holidays you have left with family members – moms, dads, children, relatives and friends and just knowing there is only a finite number left will change the way you experience your time together.

Recommend these day starters to friends and family here.

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