Not so Happy Holidays

December 10, 2014 by  


I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends.  However, the holidays can be very stressful particularly when it comes to families and family dynamics.

Most of us feel compelled to “go home” even though some of us know ahead of time that it isn’t going to be as happy and fun as we’d like.  And that’s because in spite of the fact that you have a job, a home of your own and a life somewhere else, for some reason the family dynamic doesn’t seem to have changed much since you left.

A parent is as critical and negative as ever, a sibling as selfish and argumentative, a grandparent as complaining – it can feel like everything has been frozen in time and you’re back in the thick of it again.  And you aren’t wrong, it hasn’t and you are.

It’s not possible to change them, which means the only thing you can do is change the way you react and respond to them.  And it can be done.

Home for the Holidays

THE STORY      

Amiko goes home every year for Thanksgiving, and dreads it.

She’s the youngest of three girls, and as the “baby of the family,” had been coddled and pampered more than the other two.  One of the reasons was also that her father was making considerably more money than when the first two were growing up, and had the means to give Amiko more than the first two.  And her older sisters bitterly resented it.

They called her “the spoiled little princess” and were dismissive and critical of both her and the advantages she’d had that they hadn’t.  They took it out on their parents, too, and complained and sniped at them to make them feel guilty for “not caring” for them and giving them as much as they had Amiko.

The last straw
Last Christmas was so bad, she told her girlfriends, that she couldn’t bear doing it again and was going to try to come up with a plausible excuse why she couldn’t be there next year.  The one thing she couldn’t shake was how much that would hurt her parents.  She felt like there was no way out.

One of her friends was telling her mother about it and she suggested looking into Roadblock Removal, because it had done wonders for a friend of hers.

THE STRUGGLE

On an intellectual level, Amiko understood why her sisters felt they hadn’t been as fortunate as she was.  But it wasn’t like she’d taken advantage of her parents, in fact, she went out of her way not to encourage them to be so generous, because she didn’t want to have to deal with the fallout.

And she felt very guilty, which took a lot of the enjoyment out of the opportunities she had and the things she was given.  She felt guilty because she was so much more fortunate than her sisters, and she felt guilty because she felt she was disappointing her parents because they clearly received so much pleasure from giving to her and she wasn’t able to enjoy that as much as she felt they deserved.

THE ROADBLOCKS

Amiko knew that nothing she could ever say or do would appease her sisters and that it was not her fault she had been showered with so much more than they.

Her parents did tend to continue to be more generous with her because every time they did something for her siblings, it was often met with scorn and criticism.  Amiko was always appreciative, even as she hid the guilt and the fact that she wasn’t as happy as she could tell they were hoping she’d be.

She felt the situation was hopeless; how could there possibly be a way to change her sisters’ behavior?  What she never considered was changing the way she reacted to it.  She was doubtful this was the solution, but decided, why not try it?

THE RESULTS

Sunday morning there was an email in my Inbox from Amiko, saying that she couldn’t believe how well Thanksgiving went!  We got on the phone and she was a mix of stunned, grateful, delighted, and relieved.

Her sisters were “just as negative as ever, and it was like I had this clear wall around me and nothing they said got through!”  She heard it, but it didn’t create the usual  bad feelings, “… it was like it neutered everything they said.”

An added benefit
She was able to be more present with her parents because she wasn’t distracted and feeling wounded and guilty from her sister’s unkind and cruel remarks.  She enjoyed being with them and free of the guilt that had erected a barrier with them.

Old habits die hard, as they say, so she still has a lot of trepidation about Christmas, which is a much more emotionally loaded holiday.  She’s scheduled a couple of “let’s make sure” appointments, even though she could probably do without them.

She doesn’t know if she’ll ever be able to genuinely look forward to going home for the holidays, that would be an added bonus, but at least she won’t dread them.

IT’S POSSIBLE FOR THIS TO BE YOUR REALITY, TOO

Do you look forward to being with your family during the holidays?  Do those old dynamics continue to play out every year, taking the joy out of everything?

Maybe you find yourself being the instigator and just can’t seem to keep it from happening.  The anger and old resentments just bubble up and all of a sudden, you turn into Mr. Hyde.

The in-laws from hell
You might have the in-laws from hell, and would rather spend a few days there than with your spouse’s family!  This will work for you, too.

Stop the cycle
Regardless of whether you’re the aggressor or the victim, it’s possible to change how you respond to the triggers that set off the emotional downslide.

Neuter the anger and resentment that causes you to say and do unkind things.  Have an invisible “teflon wall” that doesn’t allow anything negative that comes your way to affect you.

No more drama
Take the drama, internal and external, out of the holidays and enjoy yourself.  You’re fortunate to have family, even one as dysfunctional as yours!  And in the event yours is so destructively dysfunctional that it really would be best to have nothing to do with them yet you can’t make the break, we can deal with the roadblocks that are keeping you there.

Next time we’ll address those of you who have no family, and have to deal with being alone during the holidays.

DISCOVER IT FOR YOURSELF

Do you have family issues that are keeping you from enjoying the holidays?  Maybe even dreading them?  Does your spouse insist on spending at least one of the two major holidays with his family, and you can’t stand them?

It doesn’t have to be this way

There are only three weeks until Christmas, and while I can’t guarantee a significant improvement in three weeks, quite a few people are hype-responders and get amazing results after just one session.  You might be one of them.

Go to the Roadblock Removal website right now, and take a look at the About page to learn more about the process.

Or just click on the link in one of the boxes on the home page and choose which option is right for you.

REMEMBER, YOU HAVE ONLY ONE LIFE,
THERE IS NO DO-OVER

It really is possible to have a stress-free holiday with family.  The sooner you do something about it, the sooner this could be your reality this year, and definitely next year.

If you have any questions, email me at sydney [@] sydneybarrows.com and we’ll schedule a call so you can describe your situation to me, and I’ll tell you how we’ll go about resolving  it.

Wishing you happiness, prosperity and abundance in all things,

sydneysig

 


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