How do you deal with family members during the holidays that you really don't get along with?
What are tips/advice to dealing with those frustrating relatives that you know you will encounter at Christmas dinner
try to stay away from the "sensitive" or "trigger" topics that cause friction, focus on the family that you do get along with and try to be as peaceable and easy going as possible, Christmas is only once a year so just determine whith in yourself that you are going to make the best of it and enjoy yourself.
Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New year!
I have recently faced this problem. it was not any fest but a wedding. Simplest thing which we can do is avoid such people whom you don't get along with. If they approach you, simply greet them and then leave pretending you've got a lot of work to do.
This solution helps me out every single time. Hope it can be the same way for others to, stay distinct without being bitter.
Kind of what blessedmommyof3 had said, I kind of stay away from sensitive topics. In my case, my older sister just ignored my mom and me throughout her stay with us and just only spoke to my dad. I tried to talk to her and include her in games, but she just avoids talking to me. Her husband, my brother-in-law, was far more pleasant than she was (harsh, but I call it like I see it).
I don't have this problem any more. All of our family gets along well, but when my mother-in-law was still alive - she was very very hard to get along with. I got a nervous stomach every time I knew she would be around because I knew she didn't like me. So I just stayed on neutral topics, and spent time talking to others and sort of avoided her.
Why to talk only about Christmas or any other gathering but I think it is a matter of concern almost everyday in a joint family. In such situations it's difficult to ignore out-rightly because the difficult person is the part and parcel of our day to day life.
I always find that it's better to remain reserved, ignore the conflicting matters but must perform your duties towards the person. It helps in having no guilt as well as makes the difficult person a little considerate and even he/she tries to avoid any confrontation.
Realize that your attitude towards them and vice versa determines not only how well your holiday will go, but also the ones you love and do get along with.
That being said set a goal before a family get together that absolutely no one is going to affect your and every one elses holiday. If things start to escalate in the least little bit recognize it and make a realistic reason to walk away. Count to ten backwards, say the serenity prayer a few times (my personal favorite) and do not stoop to their level.
Remember what the holidays are for and that they will be remembered for years to come. That being said the memories of you should be pleasant, giving, and as if it were a blessing you were there.
For me, I grin and bear it mostly. You probably only see these certain individuals once or twice a year. So put aside differences and enjoy yourself.
Heap loads of love on them. Do the unexpected. Show them you are larger than the petty issues THEY have ....This is a time to show that you will not allow anyone to steal your day, to steal the joy from this season.
Avoid topics that are button pushers for them. Decide if it is more important to win a conversation before you begin it. If you know that certain topics push them over the edge and make you want to s c r e a m, avoid them.
Sadly there are those who no matter what you say it is the wrong thing and will provoke an unwanted exchange. You know that already so learn to bite your tongue.
Who cares if they think they are winning whatever the 'contest' is.....you know that you have chosen to have a lovely holiday even if those poor souls have not.
Avoidance - lol. Actually, I can't get out of some visits, so we have a rule that if someone brings up topics specifically with the intention of starting arguments we change the subject or get up and leave the room. I refuse to be antagonized by certain in-laws who have very different beliefs than I do. I choose to leave it alone at all costs. If we could all act like grownups that would sure be nice, but it doesn't usually happen that way. In that instance I choose to walk away. We also try to time our visits a day or two ahead of Christmas to avoid some of the worst offenders
Like Christmas eve, we all celebrate our Diwali Festival with the same spirit and zeal. Diwali is a festival of light, friendship and sharing happiness with all our nears and dears and is a symbol of good over bad and truth over treachery. . If there happens to be a holiday on that day, the celebration is enjoyed with a grand success. All those relatives who are annoyed for any reason are given warm welcome.
I avoid situations where highly probable conflict may lead to negative stress, aggressive and depressive situations. That goes for people, friends, family and foes. So I'd rather spend it with the people I love and get on with, who love me in return, even if it is my immediate family (husband, daughter and cat). Luckily my extended family is so wide spread over the world, that the times we do manage to get organized and get together they are far and few between: as rare as a four leaf clover. However miracles happen. So when we do find ourselves in a room stuck together we are often mature enough to over put our differences aside and focus more on rebuilding our connections and learning something positive and new about each other to help rebuild respect.
I simply don't attend those events and instead spend my time with those family members I enjoy at other times. This saves many headaches!
I either don't go, or try to stick around the relatives I do like. Worst case scenario. I just hang out with the hubby all night.
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