Minimize Holiday Stress with Relatives Part 3

December 20th, 2013

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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Minimize Holiday Stress with Relatives Part 2

December 17th, 2013

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

These tips to minimize your stress while spending holidays with the relatives are excerpts from E.K. Tirado’s article, Three Ways to Cope with Difficult Relatives During the Holidays. Use the link in the footnotes to read the full article.

1) Change what you can, and do not fret about what you can’t change. Too many times the cause of our stress derives from our need to change people. Accept the fact that you cannot control other peoples’ actions, but you can control how you react to them. Don’t come to any event with unrealistic expectations.

2) Stay close to the “normal” family member. There is often one family member who you can actually hold an intelligent conversation with…someone you feel pretty good being around. My advice: Hang around with this family member…..often. Finds ways to spend time with that person whether it’s taking a post-meal walk around the neighborhood, or playing a game (or two or three) of checkers. If you have absolutely NO “normal” family members, then invite a “normal” person to attend an occasion with you.

3) Give yourself an important job. “Remove” yourself from the situation by giving yourself an important job. For example,decide that this year you will be the official family photographer. If you’re not much of a photographer, then give yourself another important job like tending to the turkey, making fancy swans with the table napkins, running to the store for last minute food items, Do whatever it is you have to do to keep busy, while still continuing to interact with family.

Lastly, you simply have to accept the fact that you don’t have the ability to change people, they must change themselves. The one person you can change is yourself. You can change how you react to things, how you view things and how you ultimately deal with things.

In Part 3, we’ll post more tips for dealing with difficult relatives!

Use this link to read the full article:

Three Ways to Cope with Difficult Relatives During the Holidays, E.K. Tirado

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Minimize Holiday Stress with Relatives Part 1

December 13th, 2013

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!)

Since the holiday season is so busy, I’m dividing these excerpts of tips for reducing stress at family gatherings from 3 different authors into 3 brief posts.  “Stay tuned” for Parts 2 and 3!]

These tips by Connie Ragen Green are excerpts from her holiday stress article, Dealing With The Three Types of Difficult People. Use the link in the footnotes to read her full article.

  • The person who won’t stop talking -The best thing you can do for this person is to just listen. See i there are others who will share this listening with you. Try asking them about something that you are also interested in.
  • The person who has to be right -The best way to handle this person is to praise them. They will beam like a young child when you compliment them.
  • The person who has to be the center of attention – Ask their opinion on something. They will enjoy the chance to tell you what they think and may even have some great ideas.

In Part 2, we’ll post tips for coping with those unusually difficult relatives!

Use this link to read the full article:

Dealing with 3 Types of Difficult People at Holiday Time, Connie Ragen Green

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Stress Less this Holiday Season

December 7th, 2013

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

Lessen stress during the holidays with these helpful choices.

Many people are overwhelmed by all the extra time and work that are invested into family traditions and added special events this time of year. An article by Elaine Ambrose provided a collection of good advice to show that a few wise decisions will lessen your stress.

Delegate Choose which chores or errands you need to do and which ones family members can handle. If necessary, make a simple calendar and mark which days tasks need to be done, such as vacuuming, pet care, or folding laundry, and which family member chose it.

Make Meals Easier – Occasionally during this month get something from the freezer section for the main dish and add healthy items to it. Also, when you do cook, double the recipe and freeze the other meal to use over the next couple weeks.

Budget Your Money – Overspending is a main holiday stressor. Decide on your budget for family traditions and activities and stick to it. Some families draw names and decide a set a dollar amount for the gifts. This also makes it easier time-wise as each person only has to shop for 1 gift and already knows the exact price they should spend. Immerse Yourself in the Full Healing Contemplation Here »

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Getting Back to a Self Help Priority

November 22nd, 2013

[With the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday here in the US, I thought it would be good to re-focus on giving and gratitude in the articles over this next week.]

If you are a giver and your giving has left yourself in need, it is time to re-prioritize.

In actuality, all the people you love, those that you have expended yourself to help and sacrificed your own well-being, will be better off after you re-focus on self help! This article by fellow SelfGrowth.com professional, Lori Snyder, covers 10 basic steps for getting back to daily care for yourself.

Lori admits that she herself was so busy with everyone else’s needs that she sidelined her own needs, only to discover that the reality was, by neglecting her own needs and not meeting them first, she was not able to give her best to those she loves. These are brief excerpts from Ms. Snyder’s article. Use the link in the footnote below to read the full article.

1. Start each day filled with gratitude for all that you are…Appreciate the beauty all around you. [I would suggest, at the beginning, to make a list of self appreciation points. If you’ve neglected yourself for a long time, it will be difficult at the beginning to really focus on your own value.]

2. Count your blessings for the people who you love and who love you…They all come, and some go, for a reason.

3. Take a moment of silence for yourself to meditate, and think about what your needs of the day are, and what you would like to accomplish.

4. Be mindful of your health, and incorporate a wellness schedule into your week. Exercise, eat healthy, get enough rest.

5. Look at your goals sheet quickly each week, and evaluate how you are doing with them. Immerse Yourself in the Full Healing Contemplation Here »

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When to Change Your Friends

June 28th, 2013

A reader asked what to do about harmful friends?

The question itself is almost an oxymoron  (opposite terms). You usually do not think of calling someone a “friend” who is harmful to you. However, depending on one’s personality, some people tend to repeatedly choose relationships with people who are harmful to them — emotionally or physically. Other times, it may not be that the person is harmful, but that there is an idiosyncrasy in the friend’s personality that, if discussed and dealt with, would heal the relationship .

Let’s take a look at how to determine if the relationship is harmful, why you chose the relationship, and when to change friends.

A few simple questions can help you determine if the friendship is healthy for you or not.

Answer each of the following questions either (1) most of the time, (2) about half the time, or (3) rarely.

1. Does the relationship with your friend lessen your self-esteem?

2. Does the relationship hinder you from achieving short and/or long term goals? Immerse Yourself in the Full Healing Contemplation Here »

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When to Change Your Friends

November 4th, 2012

Reading Level: Leisurely

A reader asked what to do about harmful friends?

The question itself is almost an oxymoron-opposite terms. You usually do not think of calling someone a “friend” who is harmful to you. However, depending on one’s personality, some people tend to repeatedly choose relationships with people who are harmful to them — emotionally or physically. Other times, it may simply be an idiosyncrasy in the friend’s personality that needs to be discussed.
Let’s take a look at how to determine if the relationship is harmful, why you chose the relationship, and when to change friends.

A few simple questions can help you determine if the friendship is healthy for you or not.

Answer each of the following questions either (1) most of the time, (2) about half the time, or (3) rarely.

1. Does the relationship with your friend lessen your self-esteem?

2. Does the relationship hinder you from achieving short and/or long term goals?

3. Does the relationship create various stress-related physical health problems, such as headaches, stomachaches, nervousness, or lack of sleep?

4. Does the relationship cause emotional health issues, such as fear, worry, or intimidation?

If your answers were in the 1 or 2 range, the friendship is showing signs of harmful behavior which is negatively affecting the well-being of your life in significant amounts.

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If the friendship is affecting your life mainly in negative ways, ask yourself why you became involved in that relationship.

If you repeatedly choose to be in relationships with people who are not good for you and your life, you need to ask yourself why? Immerse Yourself in the Full Healing Contemplation Here »

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Relationship Issues Question and Answer Part 2

April 22nd, 2012

Table of contents for Relationship Issues Q&A

  1. Relationship Issues Question and Answer Part 1
  2. Relationship Issues Question and Answer Part 2

Dr. Henry Cloud, PhD, one of my favorite authors, is a frequent guest speaker for the Family Series event hosted by Bill Hybel.  There are some excerpts of one of his talks. Dr. Cloud is a noted psychologist and author of “Boundaries,” “How to Get a Date Worth Keeping,” and “Safe People.” You can listen or watch the full talk by Dr. Cloud at this link (Part VI on their page).

This is a continuation of a 2 part post. If you missed Part 1, use the above series link.

These are paraphrased excerpts from Dr. Cloud’s question and answer session on some of life’s toughest relationship questions. Please use the link below to watch or listen to the full video or audio. The insights will greatly benefit yourself, your friends, and family.

5. With regard to blended families and step families, how can a parent continue a close relationship with a child who is living with the other re-married parent and both parental roles are already being fulfilled in the child’s life?

This is a painful scenario and there is no way to go through this without feeling some loss. However, the first important step is to remove from your thoughts the concept of “either/or” because you are both in the child’s life. You don’t have control of when you are not there, but you do have 100% control of the relationship you have when you are together with your child. First, if you are nurturing, warm, and positive and do great stuff together, yet have requirements and expectations that he live by your rules, even if the other parent is a non-structure type, kids deep down eventually gravitate toward structure. You will face fights and some “prodigal son” moments, but continue to be the best person you can be in regards to loving and discipline. The child will develop an attachment to you based on that.

The second important point is don’t poison the other relationship with the step parent or the one with your ex. You want the child to have as many Immerse Yourself in the Full Healing Contemplation Here »

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Relationship Issues Question and Answer Part 1

April 20th, 2012

Table of contents for Relationship Issues Q&A

  1. Relationship Issues Question and Answer Part 1
  2. Relationship Issues Question and Answer Part 2

Dr. Henry Cloud, PhD, one of my favorite authors, is a frequent guest speaker for the Family Series event hosted by Bill Hybel.  There are some excerpts of one of his talks. Dr. Cloud is a noted psychologist and author of “Boundaries,” “How to Get a Date Worth Keeping,” and “Safe People.” You can listen or watch the full talk by Dr. Cloud at this link (Part VI on their page).

Here are some paraphrased excerpts from Dr. Cloud’s question and answer session on some of life’s toughest relationship questions. We’ll do this in a 2 part post.  Please use the link below to watch or listen to the full video or audio.

1. Where do you draw the line between tough love and unconditional love?

There is a problem with this term of “drawing the line.” When we look at God’s personality, His expectations are done in ways that are perfectly loving and honest so He never has to “draw the line” due to having gone too far down an enabling, co-dependent road. With parents, too often we have let the child go too long down a path without consequences until it is at a point where harm will come to them if he (or she does) not get control of himself. It should never get to this point, but if it does, it should be done in a loving way.

As for child discipline, in this culture people often say, “Don’t say ‘No’ to your child; give them choices.” As an adult, one runs into ‘No’s,’ with speed limits, job requirements, etc. Our job as parents is to arrange situations in a way that when they make good decisions then good things happen and when they make bad decisions bad things happen. The goal is to transfer self control to the child. They should grow to the point of being in charge of themselves and feeling, “Oh, I better do it this way so something uncomfortable does not happen.” …we must take a stance that requires them to step into maturity so they are in control and we can finally delegate that job to them.

2. How do you address character issues in marriage? How do you let a spouse know you want more from a relationship without making them feel like a bad spouse?

In response to the first part of the question, most problems are the same in every marriage whether or not it is a good marriage, unless something strange is going on. It is how it is handled that makes the difference. Research shows that you can predict divorce in couples by 90% accuracy if couples (1) are judgmental, critical in giving feedback to each other instead of problem solving and (2) if they have a lot of contempt for the spouse. Immerse Yourself in the Full Healing Contemplation Here »

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Ten Points for Improving Your Love Relationship

February 14th, 2012

Ten practical points on improving the love relationship can restore a portion of joy in your life that may have been recently lacking.

Today I am going to share with you excerpts from an article by mental health therapist, Jennifer Jones.  Jennifer is a fantastic writer and has a couple of extremely popular relationship sites on the web with practical, beneficial insight.  I encourage you to use the link below to read her full post.

Excerpts from Ten Simple Ways to Fall in Love Again by Jennifer Jones 

1. Enjoy memories together. When we reflect on good, happy memories we recreate the emotions and feelings in our body/mind that went along with the experience…

2. Plan for the future and share your dreams. Having something to look forward to is one of the keys to living a happy life…

3. Live in the present. Don’t let even one minute of joy, laughter, or pleasure be taken for granted…Look for those moments of quiet peace, or vibrant joy, or wild excitement…

4. Demonstrate appreciation. Do everything you can to make sure your beloved knows that you adore and cherish him or her…

5. Look for the good in your partner. Remember when you first met? You saw nothing wrong with your significant other…Of course in time…that impression may fade just a tad so consciously find for the great qualities… Immerse Yourself in the Full Healing Contemplation Here »

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Minimize Holiday Stress with Relatives

December 22nd, 2011

Want to reduce stresses with relatives in your holiday family gatherings?  Here’s a collection of tips from 3 different authors to tell you how.

(This is one of the classic holiday “help” articles– a good reminder for each of us each Christmas/New Year’s season.)

These tips by Connie Ragen Green are excerpts from her holiday stress article, Dealing With The Three Types of Difficult People. Use the link in the footnotes to read her full article.

  • The person who won’t stop talking -The best thing you can do for this person is to just listen. See if there are others who will share this listening with you. Try asking them about something that you are also interested in.
  • The person who has to be right -The best way to handle this person is to praise them. They will beam like a young child when you compliment them.
  • The person who has to be the center of attention – Ask their opinion on something. They will enjoy the chance to tell you what they think and may even have some great ideas.

These tips to minimize your stress while spending holidays with the relatives are excerpts from E.K. Tirado’s article, Three Ways to Cope with Difficult Relatives During the Holidays. Use the link in the footnotes to read the full article.

1) Change what you can, and do not fret about what you can’t change. Too many times the cause of our stress derives from our need to change people Immerse Yourself in the Full Healing Contemplation Here »

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Enjoying Your Holidays

December 20th, 2011

Do holiday family gatherings bring joy or difficult memories and painful feelings?

I came across a helpful article by fellow SelfGrowth.com author Laurie McAnaugh; here are some excerpts from it to help you overcome the negativity and enjoy your holiday experience. Use the links in the footnotes to read her full article(This is one of the classic holiday “help” articles– a good reminder for each of us each Christmas/New Year’s season.)

Ms. McAnaugh discusses that if holidays are emotionally draining to you rather than a time to enjoy remembrances of all you have to be thankful for, you may need to ask yourself the following questions:

-Why do I behave that way when I’m around certain members of my family?

-I don’t always like who I am when I am around that person.

-What is it about that person that they constantly say things that hurt my feelings?

-What is it about me that I allow that person to get under my skin?

If the holidays cause you to have the above thoughts, Ms. McAnaugh encourages you to ponder these questions:

-How would it feel to spend the holidays with each of your family members and still feel good about yourself, Immerse Yourself in the Full Healing Contemplation Here »

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Stress Less this Holiday Season

December 18th, 2011

Reading Level: Leisurely

Lessen stress during the holidays with a few practical decisions.

Many people are overwhelmed by all the extra time and work that are invested into family traditions and added special events this time of year. An article by Elaine Ambrose provided a collection of good advice to show that a few wise decisions will lessen your stress. (This is one of the classic holiday “help” articles– a good reminder for each of us each Christmas/New Year’s season.)

Delegate Choose which chores or errands you need to do and which ones family members can handle. If necessary, make a simple calendar and mark which days tasks need to be done, such as vacuuming, pet care, or folding laundry, and which family member chose it.

Make Meals Easier Occasionally during this month get something from the freezer section for the main dish and add healthy items to it. Also, when you do cook, double the recipe and freeze the other meal to use over the next couple weeks.

Budget Your Money Overspending is a main holiday stressor. Decide on your budget for family traditions and activities and stick to it. Some families draw names and decide a set a dollar amount for the gifts. This also makes it easier time-wise as each person only has to shop for 1 gift and already knows the exact price they should spend.

Budget Your Time This is just as difficult of a decision to make for most people as budgeting. However, you can help your time by doing something different with gifts. Give a donation to a charity in the person’s name or give a certificate for lunch or a movie or car wash, etc. This eliminates shopping time. You will also save Immerse Yourself in the Full Healing Contemplation Here »

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Cultivating an Environment of Self Esteem

November 17th, 2011

Do your efforts to maintain your self esteem cultivate an environment of self worth or defeat for those around you?

Some of the most difficult people with whom to maintain healthy long-term relationships are those who feel that every conflict of opinion is an opportunity to prove that they are “right,” rather than come to a mutual understanding of other people’s points of views. Every disagreement instantly puts them into a “challenge to win” mode, which, unfortunately for the people in the relationships around them, means someone else must first lose. Another person is never allowed to have a different way of doing something because this person’s way is always better, as far as he or she is concerned. We cannot always avoid this type of person, as they may be a required part of the environment at work, home, or other frequented social settings. Today, however, let’s look at this in a more personal way.

Ask yourself, “Am I the type of person whose determination to always win produces an environment of defeat for other people?”

Joel Osteen is well-known worldwide for his gifting of encouragement.  This is a quote from a story I came across on his blog about a counseling session with a person who was creating an environment of defeat. This comment was very insightful:

She didn’t recognize that her desire to be right all the time was driving home the point that everyone around her was wrong. She was creating a losing environment for Immerse Yourself in the Full Healing Contemplation Here »

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Discerning Compatibility in Relationships

January 30th, 2010

Reading Level: Leisurely

Do you appear to choose compatible dating and marriage relationships only to see them fall apart? Some basic points can ensure your compatibility in your long-term relationships.

I came across a link to a video feed (audio only also) of Bill’s Hybel’s talk on “5 Key Compatiblities to look for to guide you through the tricky process of finding a lifetime partner.” I’ve already shared it with a friend and he benefited immensely. Bill covers such incredibly practical yet easy-to-follow principles for determining your compatibility in a relationship that I wanted to share the basic points and link with you, our readership.

This is a brief summary of the 5 Key Compatibilities but I encourage you to watch/listen to the full talk (link below). You will not be disappointed!

1. Spiritual Intensity and Purpose – Do you seek after God with a similar level of passion? Are your spiritual life — purposes similar? Faith permeates a person’s being and has massive implications in their inner world, changes how they think, behave, love, how they spend spare time, etc. It is a person’s core identity and defines them.

2. Character – You must match equally with your commitment to the same level of character or you set yourself up to face a lifetime of trust-shattering incidents.

3. Emotional Health – There is a long complicated story to each person’s past which must be uncovered thoroughly before you can have any idea of who the other person is. Have each of your you’re your past pains been processed enough to be able to make forward progress in a relationship? If not, it is not the time to feel sorry for someone and try to rescue them. Immerse Yourself in the Full Healing Contemplation Here »

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