Don’t Expect Miracles: How to cope with difficult family during the Holidays

We get out the china, crystal and silver for our special holiday parties and family gathering.  How about getting out the best of you to take to the event? Put aside all the past experience that has not brought out the best in you or your family members.  You have way more control than you think:

  • Choose civility and don’t buy into someone else’s emotional drama. Step away.
  • There will be no Christmas or Holiday miracle. People don’t change. But you can.
  • When you buy into someone else’s toxic behavior, you have stooped to their level. Personally, that is not where I want to be.
  • Ask more questions. Paraphrase what they are asking. Ask for examples. Stay away from giving your opinion.
  • People probably aren’t trying to drive you crazy, or be hurtful. They are just being themselves.


  • Open up your mental filter to other people’s positions and thinking. It’s amazing what you will learn. You don’t have to agree.
  • Stay pleasant and forward thinking.
  • If someone collects past mistakes, slights, or perceived social injustice and resurrects them to argue with or harangue others, be ready for them. Devise something like, “I’m learning not to dwell on what has happened, but to focus on the good.”
  • Learn to listen well. Be present.
  • Keep a pleasant, gracious demeanor including your facial expressions.

Christmas, and the Holidays are very special times of the year. Learn how to squeeze out the very best for your family, but especially for you. Polish up your skills and bring the very best of you. That is the best gift of all.

Cheers, Marsha



Be Sociable, Share!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *