How to Handle Family During the Holidays

Many would concur that the holiday season is easily one of the most stressful times of the year. There’s just something about it that causes blood pressures to rise and tempers to flare. Perhaps, a large part of our collective anxiety stems from annual reunions with the family. In your household, you may have experienced the boisterous aunt that always seems to have a little too much to drink, the opinionated cousin that insists on talking about politics, or a relative that continually hounds you about your plans after college. Unfortunately, you can’t pick your family; however, you can pick how you to choose to deal with them. Here are some tips on how to handle family during the holidays. 

Family during the holidays drama

Lower Your Expectations

At this point, your family is who they are, so you can’t expect them to change too much. Do your best to go into the situation with a positive, healthy outlook, and you may end up having more fun than you anticipated. By accepting the dysfunction and giving up hope that everyone will behave perfectly, you will have an easier time dealing with their quirks. 

Take a Break

With all of the crazy personalities, high energy, and sheer chaos surrounding family gatherings, you may benefit from taking a moment to leave the room and decompress. Go for a walk around the block or escape to another room for some alone time. Short breaks from the family will keep you level-headed and calm, and you may feel less overwhelmed by everyone in doing so.

Avoid Certain People

If possible, try to avoid those family members that get under your skin and really upset you. If there’s a relative that you don’t seem to get along with, there is no shame in cutting off communication with them. You can still be polite and greet them, but don’t feel obligated to have a long conversation.

Keep Conversation Topics Neutral

It may be wise to dodge controversial topics that could result in a hostile exchange or hurt feelings. Shy away from subjects such as politics, religion, money, and offensive jokes. Instead, stick to lighter topics like sports, entertainment, news, work, and travel. 

The holidays can be overwhelming and stressful, but with a few tricks, you can bypass some of the family drama. And, although family dynamics may never change, it’s important to rise above those tough moments and enjoy the time you have with them. Plus, you can always bring the whole family into Garry’s Grill for a good meal. After all, its a jolly time of year!