6 Ways to Survive Family Holidays
The key to calm is awareness of the fact: we cannot change others. Your uncle Oleg is the same person as all 60 years of his life. The only thing you can change is your own behavior. Try it and you will see how the established dynamics of communication in the family changes. Here are some simple rules that will help you survive a series of family feasts and enjoy meeting with relatives.
- Honor traditions
- Remember who you are now
- Set the tone for the conversation.
- Don't drink a lot and talk a lot
- Do not idealize
- There is always a reason for gratitude
You know what dishes will be on the festive table, remember all the jokes and toasts on duty by heart and you can even tell what gifts are waiting for someone. But ... pull yourself together and be part of the family. Traditions are the basis of meetings, and they, oddly enough, support the mood and comfort in the family.
A visit to parents brings us back to our old roles of behavior. Your mother still considers you irresponsible, and you (as luck would have it!) Forget to buy greens at the table, and your older sister still perceives you as a quiet bison, and again you feel awkward. Stop! You are no longer 16! Remind yourself more often that you are an adult, independent, you have a wonderful family, good work, colleagues respect you, friends value you. And don't go back to outdated communication models.
If questions like “When will you find a normal job?” and "Is it time for us to expect replenishment in the family?" make you grit your teeth, avoid them. Learn to be the first to ask questions that will be interesting to answer to your family, say: “How do you plan to spend your future vacation?” or “I heard you have a new hobby?” Invite to discuss the latest joyful events in the family or give a toast.
Alcohol can not only cheer up, but also make you feel sorry for yourself or give vent to the accumulated resentment and anger. If you are depressed, upset about something, give up the third glass of champagne and get distracted by fussing with children or animals, in a pinch (thanks to smartphones) you can watch funny videos together.
Even if the family meeting does not go as you expected, still try to enjoy what is happening. My mother once said: “Everything that goes wrong often turns into a better memory over time.” I have no reason to doubt her right.
Studies show that gratitude is the main source of happiness. And she helps get rid of resentment and irritation. Look for the pros and say thanks for them. Rejoice that you can spend time with loved ones, even with Uncle Oleg (not so often you see him). Smile and laugh at jokes. Be grateful - and this will make you personally happier!