Family, the people you could not choose to have in your life, but instead were simply put there from the start. You cannot live with them and you cannot live without them. If you are spending the holidays with your family, there are two thoughts going through your head:
1 I am so blessed to have my family alive and well!
2 How am I going to make it through a whole week with them?!
There are several reasons we can’t seem to stand our families. First of all, they know us very well, sometimes better than we know ourselves and we cannot stand that! Someone telling you the brutal truth at all times is crushingly painful and terribly annoying. Then, there is the fact that they worry so much about you, it is suffocating! Ask me one more question Aunt Pearl. They want to know EVERYTHING that is going on, from your love life, or worse your marriage life, to your technique for raising your children, or worse the date they finally get grandkids. Their concern for our wellbeing comes off as nosy, and their wise advice is uncalled for and unnecessary. Lastly, let me know if I am wrong, but our families are terribly honest. If grandma thinks that the turkey is dry she will let you know. If dad thinks that you could have bought a better TV to watch the game, he will drop hints. If your sister thinks that that dress makes you look fat, she will let you know. It feels like they want to control your life, or like they are telling you that they could have done a better job than you.
At this point of the week, you are ready to strangle all of them. Make your own creamy mashed potatoes mother. But you will not be strangling anyone this holiday season because we are here with four tips to stay calm.
1) Prepare yourself.
You know that your brother is going to bring nicer cleats for the family soccer game, and you know he’s going to show them off. Just ready yourself for the moment. Remind yourself that your cleats are your lucky cleats and that no new pair of cleats can ever top them!
2) Take deep breaths.
Before you say anything to your in-laws take 5 (or 10) deep breaths. This will give you a moment to calm down, you cannot take back words, so you have to be careful with what you say.
3) Kill them with kindness.
If your nieces and nephews break a thing or two, do not lose your cool. Smile at them, tell them that they have to be more careful and that they can make it up to you by setting the table and waking up grandpa for dinner.
4) Remember that you are blessed and that some blessing comes in disguise.
Millions of parents lost their children to starvation and malnutrition in Africa.
Thousands of children that lost their parents this year in the Middle East.
Hundreds of siblings lost their brothers and sisters to disease in South America.
How many protesters have died in the US alone this year leaving their parents without kids, their kids without a parent, a sister without a brother, a husband without a wife?
Meanwhile, here you are with your nosy, caring, overbearing, loving family getting ready to have a full meal around the table.
Let’s make this holiday season count.