Finicky Family? 2 Ways To Take The Highroad This Holiday

Love, Family

Don't let negative people ruin a wonderful holiday.

Whoever you're with and whatever family obligations you feel you must follow through with during the upcoming holiday season, it's completely up to you to have the best time possible when it comes to being with anyone you are less than looking forward to seeing.

You need to be 100% responsible for your behavior and experience and consciously manage your emotional energy. And that actually starts before you're with the people you'll be spending your time with.

So how do you do that?

1. Pay attention to what you think and say as you anticipate upcoming festivities: If you find yourself complaining about certain people, you're setting yourself up for the same old experience. Start feeling and seeing an experience that you would like to have.

2. No matter what people are saying or doing, you're always free to choose how you want to feel and respond: You can either get caught up in someone else's energy or you can stay true to yourself and let go of anything that isn't in your best interest. Yes, you can politely walk away from someone who's trying to pull you into their yucky energy and go find someone who's being the way you want to feel.

My neighbor, Pam, has a family Thanksgiving celebration at her house every year and each year she ends up angry. Why? Because according to Pam her sister always finds something to criticize about the gathering and makes sure Pam knows about it. Without fail, Pam allows herself to be pulled into this criticism and ends up defending herself with her sister and being miserable and resentful most of the evening.

As Thanksgiving was getting closer, Pam was sharing with me her frustration and how she no longer wanted to fall prey to he sister's criticism. I shared the concept of emotional energy management with her and suggested she visualize, right up to the day of the gathering, seeing herself having a joyful time in spite of her sister. To not engage in any conversation with her sister that wasn't pleasant and to give her attention to everyone else who always enjoys themselves. She agreed to take on the challenge, starting immediately.

Now I realize this isn't the easiest thing to do when you're in the throes of Uncle Harry's crabby personality as he finds fault with everything and everyone, but that doesn't mean it's not possible. Your job is to not engage with an Uncle Harry until your emotional energy feels more at peace and doesn't have you reacting from the pushed buttons. To help you align your energy, simply pause, take a deep breath, and ask yourself, "Who do I choose to be right now that would serve the highest good of all concerned?"

This only takes a second, and it does 5 things for you:

  • It gives you the space to make a new choice and not react out of habit.
  • You have the opportunity to get control over and quiet your inner Gremlin who just happens to love this time of the year because he knows how easily you can be triggered, and that's when he's the strongest.
  • You get to change the story you've been repeating in your head and telling others year after year.
  • A new and more uplifting relationship with that difficult person has an opportunity to evolve, even if it's just for that one moment in time, it's better than never.
  • You get to reconnect with your heart and soul, bringing out the best of yourself toward others.

Now back to Pam and her sister. When I spoke to her the day after her gathering, she told me that it was her best Thanksgiving ever. What she visualized for herself ahead of time was her exact experience. She didn't engage in her sister's negativity and smiled her way through the day focusing on all the other wonderful people who were there, too.

The best part of all? Her sister stopped looking for things to criticize very early on when Pam wasn't bothered by it, and actually complimented Pam for putting together such a great Thanksgiving as she was leaving!

Linda Salazar, founder of Your Heart Is In Your Hands, is a Relationship Coach, author, speaker and media personality working with smart, proactive, spiritually open women who are ready for remarkable relationships.

Experiencing heartbreak? Struggling to find a relationship that makes your heart sing? Download Linda’s free report to discover your innate relationship style. Contact Linda here.