It’s that time of the year that we gather around with family and without meaning to we also add anxiety and worry to our list… Why? Because no matter how much we love our families we also want their approval and we most definitely wish to feel that we belong.
We often get upset during elaborate family get-togethers because we forget that the people the closest to us push our buttons better than anyone else. This is because they know us--the good, bad, and the flaws. Nobody wants their flaws on display in front of all to see. And that little reprimand from one of our members in our family—no matter how well-intentioned—makes us flare up and say things we later regret.
What if this Christmas we could be more conscious and aware of our triggers? Not just you, but all of us. We could all likely stand to do better in not letting reactiveness rule the night. What if we could park our flare-ups at the door before entering the dining room and sitting down to a lovely Christmas meal, knowing full well that it is only these moments that count!
Before you step through the door, instead of being apprehensive, be positive and grateful to have a family to go to. Grateful that they are present and all alive and well enough to spend this special meal together under one roof. Putting this thought in front of your eyes will help change the dynamics quite a bit.
Remember that the family member that is hosting and doing the bulk of the work in the cooking department is anxious, too. Give them the reassurance that no matter what the outcome, that you are happy and content to be there with your own extended family to share in the joy of that moment.
The biggest Christmas gift you can give your family is your presence. Do not worry about the little things that could irritate you… Definitely not the gift that you did not want, as those details are so unimportant…
When you sit around the table and look at the faces surrounding you, think about how you are part of that special moment. None of us know when or if a next time will come around!