Holidays and family go hand in hand. In many cases, that’s a good thing. In some families, though, not so much. If you have one of “those” families that fill every single holiday with stress, you may not be looking forward to Uncle Bob and Aunt Sally coming over for a holiday dinner, or Grandma Lou complaining while opening Christmas presents. So what do you do?
The family fighter
First, realize that you are only responsible for you. You can’t change other people. You can do what you can and hope for the best, but if your brother really wants to tell his mother-in-law where to go and how to get there, there really isn’t much you can do about it. You can’t take the blame, nor can you spend your entire day playing referee.
The family drunk
If you’re hosting a get together and you know that Joe gets rowdy when he has too much to drink, you may want to make it an alcohol free gathering. You may not be the most popular hostess on the block among those that prefer wine with dinner, but Joe will behave and you won’t have to worry about people drinking and driving home at the end of the day either, which is always nice.
The family complainer
“I don’t know why you keep buying me scarves. I never wear them.”
If you have a complainer on your hands, you have a few options. You can either not invite them, or, if that’s not an option, explain to them politely that you respect their opinion but prefer that they keep it to themselves in your home. It’s hard to speak up, but at the same time, you need to look out for your own feelings. If you’re in someone else’s home, you always have the option to leave if it bothers you too much.
The family bully
“You’re not cutting the turkey right. Your bathroom really should have more light. I can’t believe you live in this terrible neighborhood!”
If you have a relative that likes to berate everything you do, your best option is to ignore it. These types of people often put down others to make themselves feel better. If that makes them happy, then let them be happy. You can protest or make excuses, but that only fuels their fire more. If you just walk away, they’ll find someone else to pick apart. Besides, usually those that live in glass houses are the ones that are throwing stones. Remind yourself that they drive an ugly car and have no taste in music. You’ll feel better, and they’ll be none the wiser.
The holidays are really joyous and happy times, but with any family gathering, different personalities mingle and sometimes clash. Remember that you, and your children if you have them, are the most important things. Don’t let Darryl Downer and Donna Drama ruin them for you!
How do you deal with family drama during the holidays?