Are you already stressed about going back home for the holidays? Are you already concerned about having your family over, and hearing the same judgments and critiques that you hear every single year?
With a few weeks left until Christmas, I know many of my friends and clients are.
This is why I want to offer you my EMERGENCY NVC kit for holiday tension! Or, in other words, “How to stay COOL during the holidays, no matter what life might throw at you.”
I’m sure that if you take a second to think about it, you’ll already know who is about to upset or annoy you, who is going to bring up the subjects that you won’t wish to discuss, and who is going to do it in blunt judgment.
If you’re getting annoyed just from reading this, read on 🙂
Because I’m going to tell you how you can HELP YOURSELF STAY RELAXED this year and skip the holiday tension.
Avoid the Family Meltdown in Four Steps!
Imagine the conversation you know will annoy you
Prepare for that verbal exchange. Imagine that person, the aunt or the grandparent, and the conflict that might arise. Is it going to be about your parenting style? The clothes you are wearing? Your job? You’ll know because it happens every year; doesn’t it?
Write down what bothers you about this interaction, but without blaming them for it – think about YOU and which values of yours this interaction violates. For example, if your aunt will tell you (once again) that your child is”growing to be a mama’s boy and you need to learn how to let go and let him cope on his own,” remember that it’s your need for connection is leading you in your parenting style. Remind yourself that your desire to raise your children in a certain way motivates your actions. When we focus on what we want, it is easier for us to react from that point of need and desire, which is always a positive space.
Connect To Your Needs and Feelings
From the positive space of need and desire, you just reached – remember that no one ever does anything to hurt you, not on purpose. For you to see it easily on the spot and in the heat of the moment – apply EMERGENCY EMPATHY.
Don’t assume your aunt is saying this to hurt you and degrade you in front of anyone else; ask yourself, really, which values is she protecting? Is she worried your child is not getting the tools he needs to succeed in life? Does your parenting style make her feel disconnected from you as she doesn’t know how to approach you and access your closeness? These are heart-opening thoughts that will allow YOU to communicate with your aunt without pain.
Conquer with Kindness
Try to strike the conversation from that space of empathy – Auntie, are you worried about…? Are you afraid that…? Or perhaps something in the lines of “I’m not sure why you said that, but I would like to know. Could you clarify?”
See how she reacts. Perhaps a beautiful conversation will grow from your genuine effort to connect. And if it won’t, if your aunt won’t be open to listen and communicate – that’s fine, too. She doesn’t have to.
In this case, tell her what you want without judgment or criticism. “I’d appreciate it if you didn’t make any comments about my parenting.” Again, she might stop, or she might not. It doesn’t matter as you are already in that space of need and desire where you know that everything is positive.
In this space, you won’t give anyone the power to affect you by giving up your certainty.
Don’t Waste Your Time
Don’t wait for the 10th comment before you finally react – draw your boundaries as something happens. Expressing your feelings as they arise will prevent you from sitting there and boiling throughout the evening. It will allow you to communicate your needs and boundaries without the judgment that will be inevitable by comment #10.
So Let’s Recap:
You’ve heard something that triggered you? Remind yourself why you are doing that thing that was commented upon. Connect to your needs behind your judged actions or opinions.
From that positive place, connect to the one who commented. Ask for clarity, assume they, too, have some pain around your choices and decisions. Reach out to find that pain. Connect around it.
Managed to talk and connect? That’s amazing!
And if you didn’t – that’s okay, too, they don’t have to.
Express your boundary so that they know what you are willing to accept, and what you aren’t.
And move on; this is the most important part 🙂
Just move on 🙂
I’ve discounted all my coaching packages to support you during the holidays, check out this link for more info 🙂
And don’t forget to join my life & Parenting support group on Facebook where I share tons of tips on positive communication methods and mindful living and parenting 🙂
Hope to meet you soon!
Not sure about that empathy part…? Here’s something that might help 🙂
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