Disclaimer: Everyone has a different situation and you should never feel pressured to compromise yourself if you’ll be placed in an abusive situation or one that undermines your core values.

Now for the rest of us, there are instances when you can become highly annoyed and prefer not to be around family or in-laws. When that’s the case you have a few options: You can get intense and implement your best behavior… or you can choose to minimize the importance of the interaction and find levity in the situation. Don’t lose your sense of humor or holiday spirit because of unkind, judgmental, mean or unhappy people.  It’s your joy and spirit to keep, so be grateful and embrace everything that is going right in your life!

Here are some light-hearted tips to help you have fun this season no matter your circumstances:

  1. Place a time-limit on the interactions; agree with your partner ahead of time on how long you’d like to stay and stick to the plan.
  2. Suck it up and be grateful that you have family to annoy you.
  3. Use your children (pets count too), if you have any, as a buffer. Get lost in enjoying them smile and seeing the holidays through their young innocent eyes.
  4. Look Amazing; We all endure both criticism and obnoxious people better with a great haircut and comfortable, flattering clothing.
  5. Have other plans that counter-balance the event that you’re expecting to be difficult. If getting up and taking a morning walk makes you feel great, do it before the gathering. Similarly, if the event is all day and all night and you are pressured by partner or tradition to join in, simply carve out another day or evening where your tone and new unique traditions can shine.

Final Thoughts*

  • Negotiate!
  • Don’t Let Family disrupt your Spousal Relationship!
  • Replace Anger and Resentment toward family members with Compassion and Love! (We never know the complete story of what is going on with others, but we do know that Hurt People… Hurt Other People)

Happy Holidays Friends!

– Your Family at Modern Chicago Therapy