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How to avoid the drama this holiday season!

I can’t believe the holiday season is upon us! With Thanksgiving just a couple days away, I wanted to talk about something many people struggle with during this season: navigating family dynamics.

The holidays are a time to come together and express our love and gratitude for one another, and it also places many personalities and opinions under one roof. That can be challenging and can cause a lot of anxiety as we approach the holidays.

Sometimes our families can say things we find upsetting and hurtful. So how do we deal when faced with these challenges?

Here are some things you can do this holiday season to help you manage challenging family discussions and opinions: 

1) Honor your boundaries- it is so important to set boundaries to protect your peace. It’s okay to leave a party early if you’re tired or not feeling the vibe. It’s okay to exit a conversation that doesn’t serve you. If you’re in the midst of a conversation with your family member, and they say something that brings you down, you can simply respond “I really don’t want to discuss this right now, I don’t find it helpful, and it brings me down. I love you, but can we talk about something else?” You can also choose to excuse yourself and exit the room. The more you set clear boundaries the better you feel.

2) Understand that what others say (usually) isn’t about you- words can hurt and really deplete your energy and good vibes. But when we consider what is going on for the person that is saying hurtful things, we can approach it from a place of love and understanding. If you approach relationships with empathy and compassion you can change the dynamic. For example: if your mom says something hurtful, consider her upbringing and challenges she has faced. Most often, the things others say to us are projection of how they are feeling about themselves or come from a place of hurt. Understanding a person using empathy can improve your relationships.

3) Choose your thoughts and reactions wisely- One thing in life that will always be true is that you CAN’T change other people. If I could teach people how to change others, I would be a billionaire! What you can control is your thoughts and reactions to statements and behaviors from another person. Most often, when someone says something that hurts your feelings, the hurt usually comes from the thought attached to their statement. If someone says, “you’re crazy for starting that business when the market is already saturated.” Your thought response may be “they’re right, the market is saturated, how will I stand out amongst the crowd?” When that thought comes to mind, anxiety usually follows. When you change the thought to “that is their perspective, but I know I bring unique gifts and I will be successful” you feel at peace and their statement rolls off your back with ease. You cannot control the words or behaviors of others, but you CAN choose how you react to them. If someone says something upsetting, you can respond by simply saying nothing (and setting your boundary) OR respond from a place of love. You don’t have to agree with their statement, but you also don’t have to engage.

The holiday season doesn’t have to be stressful, exhausting or anxiety provoking. Replace worry with gratitude and interact with family from a place of love and compassion. When we try to understand where someone is coming from, while protecting our peace with solid boundaries, we are able to give more love while maintaining our happiness.

I want you to know that I see you, I hear you and I believe in your big goals and dreams. I wish you love, peace and joy as we kick off this holiday season and wrap up 2019.



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