Episode 73: Six strategies for dealing with difficult relatives over the holidays
- Gemma Gladstone
- December 29, 2022
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In this episode Gemma and Justine discuss 6 strategies for dealing with difficult family relatives over the Christmas and holiday period. Getting together with family for many, can be a stressful and challenging time.
There are usually lots of unspoken expectations and sometimes old resentments and old hurts which get activated during this time.
Firstly you need to decide on whether you will be attending gatherings with that difficult person or people and then you need to have a plan, including an exit strategy if things don’t go well!
Discussion points are:
1. You don’t have to respond to critical comments
2. Stay mindful and refrain from getting defensive and making things worse
3. Have a few stock-standard neutral replies or comments pre-prepared
4. Be complimentary to soften the tone and get the difficult person to help out with something if relevant
5. See the person for who they are and know they have their own schemas and modes which shape their difficult behaviours
6. Have a planned exit strategy you can use if necessary.