8. Ask yourself what you really want. You may be surprised by the answer. You may even decide that what you want is to be with your family, warts and all. Once being with them is a choice instead of a gun-to-your-head obligation, maybe you can relax in their presence.
9. If what you want, and need, is to preserve your self-esteem, and doing so requires separating from toxic family members, give yourself the gift of prioritizing your self-preservation. Leave. When guilt rears its ugly head, try to replace that corrosive emotion with compassion for yourself.
10. Take responsibility for your own happiness. This is what the three ghosts taught Scrooge. No one was going to save him, not Marley, not his sister or his sweet fiancée, not even Tiny Tim. He had to do it himself. You can too!
How are you surviving the holidays? Please leave a comment and let me know.