How to Deal with Dysfunctional Family over the Holidays
Depending on your family dynamic, spending time with them could either be great or a terrible drain on your mental and emotional resources. Dysfunctional families are difficult to deal with from a distance, not to mention in person.There’s a lot of stress around the holidays! Presents to wrap, travel plans to take care of, office parties to go to, etc. If you have any history of depression or anxiety, then this time of year can be a bit triggering. Aside from bringing along a CBD pen, and getting drunk with your alcoholic half-brother, there are probably other things to try.
No matter how comfortable or happy you are in your own life,being around family innately triggers memories; it’s impossible to avoid it.The dynamics you experiences with them were wired into your brain as small child.Memories, difficult relatives, lowered defenses – which are usually a result of hopefulness for change, all contribute to setting off irregular emotional responses that suddenly might have you engaging in a passive aggressive exchange with your mother or entering a straight up screaming match with one of your siblings.Regardless of what’s happening, it helps to know that you have a choice when it comes to what you participate in. This sense of autonomy will help you be self-aware so that you’re not engaging in behavior you find abhorrent because of emotional reflexes.
First, we advise that you go in without high expectations.Don’t hope your family will change; it’s much more likely they won’t, no matter how many times you speak with them about their behavior. It’s true that looking for healing from the person that hurt you is a losing battle. So, some of the things you can do deal with it is to set boundaries for yourself. On trick is to go in to a family gathering prepared with an arsenal of responses to whatever you suspect you family may say to you, say about you being single and in your 30s,your weight, or your job.
Secondly, don’t worry about trying to change or control them. It turns out that attempting to control someone is actually a way in which they have control over you! If you let your family’s behavior affect your happiness,rest assured it always will. Accept that your happiness is your own and look at that like the gift that it is. Yes, you might feel like you have to be around these people, but you don’t have to participate in their dynamic. You can also watch from a distance, within yourself, and then laugh about it with friends after. Comedians often use difficult situations from their upbringing to fuel their material,and there’s absolutely no reason you can’t do the same with your family. If all else fails, getting drunk and sleeping on the couch is always an acceptable option too. Whatever you choose to do, it’s totally possible to be around your family without having to be too stressed. Also, as we all know, weed helps.