How to Handle Difficult or Disagreeable Family Members during the Holidays

How to Handle Difficult or Disagreeable Family Members during the Holidays

How to Handle Difficult or Disagreeable Family Members during the Holidays

The holidays are around the corner.  For some people, this brings up many festive feelings, but others may have different feelings stirring.  Holiday get-togethers can be stressful for those that need to deal with difficult family members or complicated family relationships.  Instead of bringing us joy, they can stir up negative emotions that lead to stress, anxiety, and withdrawal.  With anxiety counseling in Orlando, you can learn strategies to deal with these gatherings and the holiday stress.  There are a few ways you can properly handle difficult or complicated family members during this year's holiday season.

Set Boundaries

Before the holiday begins, you'll want to have a plan in place.  Set boundaries with yourself to leave uncomfortable conversations or situations if possible.  These boundaries can also be related to time limits.  If you have a few places to go on one particular holiday, limit the time you spend at uncomfortable places so that you can be respectful to the host without avoiding their party entirely because of a few complicated guests.

Have an Exit Strategy

When you are talking with the disagreeable family members, have a few exit strategies prepared to get you out of these situations.  Consider telling another trusted family member to interject if they see you growing uncomfortable or if you give them a particular sign.  Take time to use the restroom or help the host of the party to remove yourself from these conversations politely.

Avoid Uncomfortable Topics

When it comes time to have conversations with individuals that add stress to your holiday, you should stick to basic and light topics.  Avoid heavy conversations about the things you disagree on, whether that's education, politics, lifestyle, or another personal topic.  This way, you can talk with them without touching upon subjects that might cause drama or conflict.  When the disagreement and discomfort begins, try to steer the conversation in a different direction.  If this fails, use your exit strategies.

Try to Let it Go

Depending on the nature of the conflict with that family member, it may be beneficial to simply let it go.  When you let go of the drama, you may find yourself enjoying the holidays more and not being as concerned about those particular people.  Although it may be difficult to move past certain issues, you can make the attempt to have peaceful compromises before the issue lingers over many years of challenging holiday gatherings.

These are a few ways you can battle the stress associated with dealing with difficult or disagreeable family members during this year's holiday gatherings.  If you find yourself worrying or stressing out over these events, you may want to seek anxiety counseling in Orlando to learn how to cope.  Contact us to schedule an appointment with our professional therapists today.

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Heather Oller

Heather Oller is a licensed Orlando therapist at Orlando Thrive Therapy, Coaching & Counseling who specializes in counseling Orlando couples, individuals, and families who are seeking changes in their lives. She has been a mental health professional for over 17 years and is a practicing Orlando counselor that specializes in conflict resolution for couples. You can contact her for an appointment or call 407-592-8997 for more information.