Minimize Holiday Stress with Relatives Part 3

Table of contents for Minimize Holiday Stress

  1. Minimize Holiday Stress with Relatives Part 1
  2. Minimize Holiday Stress with Relatives Part 2
  3. Minimize Holiday Stress with Relatives Part 3

Take advantage of these GREAT tips to reduce common stresses in holiday family gatherings!

(From the archives to help you have a stress-free, enjoyable holiday season!)

[This is Part 3 of a 3 part post.  If you missed Part 1 on tips to deal with “3 types of difficult people,” or Part 2 on “tips to cope with difficult relatives,” you may use the above series link to read them.  The tips in this series are excerpts from 3 different authors. Please use the reference links to read their full articles.]

Dealing with Difficult Relatives for the Holidays by Kate Zabriskie, Business Training Works, Inc., offers these tips to reduce conflicts with your relatives. These are only excerpts. Use the link in the footnotes to read her full article.

1. Whatever the reason is that you are with your holiday crew, you are not obligated to call up feelings you don’t have.

2. Be civil no matter what. The last thing you want is for your negative reaction to overshadow the initial offense.

3. Figure out a couple of ways that you might rein in your reaction ahead of time. [Remember past irritations or confrontations by your relatives and come up with a plan of action or response to keep yourself calm, change the subject, and divert the attention.]

4. Consider journaling [rather than venting your feelings to your friends.]

5. Downtime is the smell of opportunity to difficult relatives. Your holidays will run more smoothly if there are plenty of activities to fill gaps. [games, walks, etc.]

6. Plan an entry and exit time, as well as a date for yourself, if you are going to someone else’s house. Do the same if a group is coming to yours. For example, “Bob and I would like you to come for Thanksgiving. If you could arrive between 11:00 and noon on Thursday that would give us time to get everything ready for you. We’ve also planned a big breakfast for Friday before everyone leaves.

7. Think about inviting more people to your holiday. When there are fifty people in attendance, it is much more difficult for a diva to be a diva.

8. Focus on the kids. Babies and little kids don’t fully understand weird family dynamics. Most of the time, discussions about babies are usually fairly benign.

9. Focus on the less fortunate. If, for example, at Thanksgiving everyone brings a gift for Toys for Tots or some other charity group, part of your discussion will naturally revolve around that.

Use the link to read the full article by this author:

Dealing with Difficult Relatives for the Holidays, Kate Zabriskie, Business Training Works, Inc.


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