Here Come the Holidays!
And so does the stress! For many people the holidays signal a time of stress and strife, not jolly and wonder. We all have family members we love but don’t necessarily like and we HAVE to deal with them this time of year. Oh the stress! But it doesn’t have to be as annoying as it’s been in the past for you if you start to make some small changes to your mindset as you head into the season.
First, let’s start with the mantra you need to really learn and incorporate into your daily (struggle) life.
“I CAN ONLY CONTROL ME.”
If you can accept that you can’t control every situation. You can’t control other people. You can’t control much actually. But you can control yourself. You can control how you decide to react to situations and people. It takes some practice for sure. And it’s super annoying to admit to all of this. But the sooner you do, the easier it will be to get through the Holidays.
So if you can’t control a bunch of stuff that you feel you have to deal with since it’s “the most wonderful time of the year”, how do you all of a sudden just “deal”. Well, keep that mantra close. Keep it on the forefront of your mind. Accept the fact that we don’t all get along all of the time. That doesn’t make any of us bad people. It makes us real. It makes us different. And all of that is OK. You don’t have to understand everyone. You don’t have to like everyone. However, you should feel that treating others with respect regardless of the aforementioned points is crucial to being a good person. And not everyone is going to “get” this. Not even close. But you can. And if you do, you will be able to get to STEP TWO at a lightening speed.
Next is stepping outside of the situation and looking at it from a different point of view.
“THIS SITUATION/PERSON MAKES NO SENSE TO ME. AND THAT’S OK. I’M GOING TO TRY TO SEE IT FROM A DIFFERENT ANGLE”
The trick to this one is to not take anything personally. This is easier said than done. But, it’s possible. If you have embraced STEP ONE it’s a whole lot easier. There is something really powerful about looking at a situation from an unemotional point of view. You can be way more open to seeing that person’s point of view. And if you can start to accept and practice STEP TWO, then STEP THREE is a total snap.
“MOST ANGRY PEOPLE ARE COMING FROM A PLACE OF SADNESS OR DESPAIR”
This state of anger (which is probably stemming from sadness or despair) more than likely really doesn’t have anything to do with you. Now, you might be getting the brunt of this anger for some reason but it probably doesn’t have a beginning with you. And if that’s the case and you know this, you might have an easier time accepting it for what it is and be able to stay unemotional about the way they are talking, behaving, or dealing with you.
Sometimes the sadness or despair does start with you; about something that happened in the past. And if this is the case, then ask yourself if it makes sense to deal with it with this person sometime during another time of the year. “Put it to bed” so to speak. This is not usually fun. But if you keep STEP ONE and STEP TWO and really STEP THREE as well, you can handle it. You can pretty much handle anything. And this leads us to…
“THERE IS NO PERFECT PERSON OR FAMILY OR HOLIDAY”
It doesn’t matter what your Holiday cards look like….what you wear to dinner…how you wrap your gift…how you decorate your house….who gets along. The reality is that “perfect” is a lie. There are things that people say that hurt. There are people in your life that you didn’t choose. Let’s review the steps that if you master, you can have a great Holiday even though someone may be difficult to deal with each year.
- I CAN ONLY CONTROL ME
- THIS SITUATION/PERSON MAKES NO SENSE TO ME. THAT’S OK. I’M GOING TO LOOK AT THIS FROM ANOTHER ANGLE
- MOST ANGRY PEOPLE ARE COMING FROM A PLACE OF SADNESS AND/OR DESPAIR
- THERE IS NO PERFECT PERSON OR FAMILY OR HOLIDAY
This may be obvious but if you really focus on STEP ONE you are golden. Truly.
For further tips on how to deal with your potential difficult holiday or family members this holiday while you start to perfect your steps, check out the following blog….super helpful:
I think Gretchen Rubin brings it all home when she says:
Wait, you might be thinking, these strategies don’t tell me how to deal with my difficult relatives — they tell me how to behave myself. Well, guess what! You can’t change what your difficult relatives are going to do; you can only change yourself. But when you change, a relationship changes.
It kind of brings us back to STEP ONE doesn’t it?
Have a wonderful holiday and keep in mind that you are awesome. Spread a little of that awesomeness to those who need it even if they annoy you or you feel like they don’t deserve it right now. Not everyone has the gumption to work on themselves or can accept STEP ONE. Show them the way.