Today I’m talking about the five ways your family is likely going to drive you crazy this holiday season along with my top five tips for battling back so you can have a joyful, sane and connecting holiday season. And the best news? I’m not going to tell you that you have to be grateful or appreciate anyone!

Here are some things I think you might hear (that’ll drive you crazy) this holiday season:

  • The pushy: “When are you two going to give us some grandbabies?”
  • The political: “I still think Trump did a great job!”
  • The shaming: “Are you really going to have a second helping?”
  • The competitive: “You started working out? That’s great. I just finished another triathlon; I just have to work out to feel sane!”
  • The dismissive: “How’s it going with that job of yours? What is it you do again?”
  • The passive aggressive: “I wish I didn’t care how I looked in my clothes like you.”

With COVID still happening, this holiday season is really going to be one for the record books so here are the top five reasons why your family might drive you crazy these next two months and my top five tips moving past them.

1. You become a kid again and act like one!

We end up being treated on some level as we were when we were younger and, much to our own dismay, we start acting like we did when we were much younger!

Tip: Set Intention A Lot!

I talk about setting intention a lot! I talk about it so much because it’s seriously a game changer! If you want to feel happy and whole this holiday season, you’ve got to set intention and you’ve got to do it often (what I call Intention Chunking).

2. It’s Easier Than Ever to Get Triggered

The holidays are also a time of a change in your routine, which creates more stress and makes it easier to be triggered.

Tip: Be Prepared Mentally and Physically!

To mentally be prepared you’ve got to keep your standards high and your expectations low. This means you’ve got to be aware of what you will and won’t tolerate before you engage with your family and lovingly remind people of your standard when it’s not met. All the while, keep your expectations low because no one can meet them all the time.

3. You Feel Judged or Criticized:

When you feel like others are judging or criticizing you, instead of being angry at them, turn your attention inward. Why are you taking this to heart? The only reason things bother us is because we believe them at a deeper level.

Tip: Ground Yourself

When we’re feeling judged or criticized, a part of your brain called your amygdala is activated which puts you into fight, flight or freeze mode and turns off the rational, loving part of your brain. The best way to counteract this is to do a Grounding Exercise, which will help ground you into the present moment where you can act, not react. Scroll down and enter your name and email to receive my Grounding Exercises!

4. They Don’t Listen to You:

It’s SO very frustrating when others won’t listen to us. Maybe you’ve told your dad five times what you do at your job at Google, but he still asks you every time he sees you, “What is it that you do again?” You want to pull your hair out and you’re so tired of having the same conversation over and over again. You walk away feeling belittled, frustrated and resentful.

Tip: Use the I Feel Formula

The best thing to do here is use the I Feel Formula. The formula is this:

 I feel____________________________________,

when you________________________________,

and I need_______________________________.

Here are the instructions:

  • You must say an actual feeling after “I feel.” It can’t be “I feel that you should…”
  • Be very brief and specific with the “when you” portion. Don’t get long-winded or list 50 things the other person does that bugs you.
  • You won’t always know what you need, so it’s OK to leave that part off if you can’t think of anything.
  • The other person might come back at you with something nasty or try to pull you into an argument. Just stick to the formula.

5. They Ask for Too Much/Guilt You

It’s not uncommon for family members or friends to ask you for more than you want to give and/or make you feel guilty. Feeling guilty is all about you. No one can “make” you feel anything. Believe it or not, it’s a choice. And no one can “make you do more than you want.” Again, it’s a choice.

Tip: Boundaries!

The one and only thing you need to focus on in these instances is your boundaries. Decide what you will and won’t do and end it there.

Resources and Links:

Setting Intention

The Simple Hack to Stop Your Negative Thoughts All Day

How to Focus on What’s Right Instead of What’s Wrong in Your Relationship

Calibration Exercise

Dealing with Triggers

You’ve Got to Have High Standards and Low Expectations

How to Make Mindfulness a Consistent Habit

Grounding Exercises: What Anxiety Really Is and How to Deal with It

Boundaries: How to Identify Them and How to Hold Them

 

Ready to learn some Grounding Exercises to help you be in your present moment where you can act, not react? Enter your name and email below.

 Ready to find out what goes on inside that crazy mind of Abby’s? 

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