The Unhinged Holiday Survival Guide 2023
Welcome to our Unhinged Holiday Survival Guide 2023: Boundaries Edition your go-to resource for navigating the tricky terrain of family gatherings while prioritizing your mental health. The holidays can be a challenging time, especially when it comes to maintaining healthy family boundaries. This guide is packed with practical advice and relatable insights to help you manage family dynamics, set effective boundaries, and preserve your peace of mind. Whether you’re dealing with overbearing relatives or just trying to find some personal space, our holiday survival guide is here to support your mental health and ensure a more enjoyable festive season.
The Family Boundaries Conundrum:
Love Them, But... Wow"
Ever caught yourself in a family gathering thinking, “How am I related to these f^@%!#* people?” If that rings a bell, welcome to the club. You might actually like your family members, enjoy their company, but then there are those few who just… perplex you. It’s not always about outright hostility or abuse; sometimes, it’s those subtle undercurrents that make you think, “Should I say something? This is awkward. How do I keep the peace without having to literally take my brain out of my head and leave it on the front porch??”
These moments can range from uncomfortable questions about your weight or when you’re having kids, to your uncle’s unsolicited opinions on war crimes, or your aunts efforts neutralizes her bigotry with comments like “I don’t care what gay people do, just do it in private, not the Church”.
But hey, you’re here for a reason. Maybe it’s to see that niece or cousin you adore, or perhaps it’s your first visit home since moving out. Whatever the reason, you’re braving the potential minefield for the sake of family love.
3 Boundaries Essential for Our Holiday Survival Guide
1. Physical Space Boundaries
No need to bail on family time, but keeping a healthy distance from the not-so-great relatives is totally okay.
💡 Pro tip: Sitting at the kids’ table as a 30-year-old? Absolute power move.
2. Mental Space Boundaries
It’s tough to ignore the echoes of problematic conversations, but you can take control of your own mental space Use mantras, self-talk, or mental reminders. Go for calming vibes like, “Breathe in calm, exhale tension,” or if you’re feeling spicy, “Let their hate erode them from the inside out.”
Whatever works, as long as you protect your peace.
3. Avoid Getting Roped In:
You’ve tried to stay disengaged, but some family members just can’t resist pulling you into their drama. Here’s a strategy to handle these situations created by Dr. Ramani to help when dealing with difficult people especially effective with narcissistic types: Don’t D.E.E.P.
- D: Don’t Defend:
- You might want to defend yourself, but it’s a waste of energy. They’re not looking to understand you.
- E: Don’t Engage:
- Apply the grey rock technique. Be boring and to the point if you must interact.
- E: Don’t Explain:
- They won’t get you, and they’re not trying to. Know your truth and stick to it.
- P: Don’t Personalize:
- Their behavior is about them, not you. Let them own their issues.
Family + Love + Boundaries = Peace
Holidays with family can be a wild ride of emotions, from heartwarming moments to the most cringe encounters. Remember, it’s okay to love your family and still find them utterly baffling. Set your boundaries, arm yourself with mental strategies, and most importantly, remind yourself that you’re there for the good parts. Happy holidays, and may your boundaries be strong!