9 Pointers for Dealing with Difficult Family at the Holidays


9 Pointers for Dealing with Difficult Family at the Holidays
Concrete advice to survive the holiday season with difficult family members.

I believe that everyone in your life is here on purpose; they’re all part of a rotating cast of characters perfectly chosen to help you become more of Who You Really Are. With that perspective, what could your family situation teach you? What will you learn from the conflict? How can you use this situation to improve your other relationships or help someone in a similar situation?

7. Don’t compare. No family is perfect. The ones that look perfect only appear so from your outside perspective. Everyone’s dealing with something; if it’s not family drama, it’s something else.


Comparing your family to others’ is the opposite of accepting them exactly as they are. The more you compare, the worse you feel, period.

8. Choose to be happy instead of choosing to be right. You know how confident you are that you’re right and they’re wrong? Well, I have news for you. They’re just as sure that they’re right and you’re wrong.

Since you aren’t going to change their mind, why not decide that it’s enough that you know you’re right and leave it at that. Choose happiness over righteousness.

9. Be compassionate. Although it’s hard to show love to difficult people, they’re the ones who need it most. No one wants to be snarky or envious or mean. Any action that’s not based in love is based in fear.

Everyone has a story. If you knew their story, you’d have compassion. Try to remember that, especially when it’s so easy to judge. Practice compassion for your family. If they knew better, they’d do better. Plus, by offering compassion to them, you’re generating it in yourself, so everyone wins.

Amy Johnson, Ph.D. is a psychologist and master certified coach. She writes a popular blog full of down-to-earth, achievable steps to living a happier, more enlightened life at www.DrAmyJohnson.com. Grab her FREE ebook on getting out of your own way to create the life you want.

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