The #1 Survival Tip for the Holiday (and it’s not about food)

A client asked me today, “Do you have any tips for spending the holidays with my family without large amounts of alcohol?” What a great question.

Do you experience tension with your family around the holidays? Whether it is a heated discussion about with whom you will be spending the holidays, or how to field insults or judgments from your in-laws around the dinner table, family tension abounds this time of year. Why does family seem to be so difficult?

I have found that one of the main underlying reason families fight and argue so much is because they want to feel important and prioritized. Think about the arguments you have with your family. Is it about how much time you are spending with them, or jealousy that you prefer to be with your spouses family? What about in-laws or parents pushing their advice (especially when it comes to your kids).

My survival tip this holiday when experiencing family drama is to really think about where this jealousy or passive aggressive behavior is coming from and try to understand the intention. It is usually coming from a good place, even though they may show it in a combative, unskillful way.¬†This doesn’t mean you condone the behavior, but the understanding will make you feel less angry and stressed. This understanding is also sure to help you stop and realize that they just want to feel important and loved, just like you do. Maybe then you can give them what they need instead of getting defensive and drinking lots of alcohol.

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