Surviving Family Holidays

Surviving Family Holidays

by Julie Orsak,

If your family is like mine you’re either having lots of family in your home or you’re going to someone else’s home to be with lots of family. You’ve been planning, shopping, wrapping, packing and traveling. Some of us love the hustle and bustle, and some of us don’t.

Well, the holidays have finally arrived! We may love to be around our families, but it’s not always easy. You can’t change them, but you can change yourself. Here are some skills to help you respond and cope with the many dynamics and enjoy yourself.

Unwanted questions?

Respond with “I would prefer not to talk about that today.” If they persist, repeat yourself. You may need to excuse yourself from the conversation.

Respond with “You might be right” or “I’ll consider that,” then smile and excuse yourself to refill your drink, talk to someone else who just arrived, or go to the restroom.
Gossip or uncomfortable questions about someone else?

Respond with “You’ll have to ask or talk to him/her about that” or “I don’t feel comfortable talking about this.” If they persist, excuse yourself from the conversation. You can use one of the excuses listed previously, if needed.

Intoxicated/high family member?

If no one’s safety is at stake, it’s probably best not to confront the person.
This would likely only escalate the unwanted behavior.

After any of these unpleasant or hurtful experiences, choose not to take it personally. Instead, focus on yourself and other family members whose company you enjoy. You are responsible for your own feelings, and you deserve to enjoy the day!

If you would like help living well, we encourage you to start the conversation. Live well. Let us help.

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