The Holidays can be stressful with trying to figure out how to cook a turkey, to making travel arrangements. To add to the stress, holidays also involve major family time. It’s time to get together with family members you haven’t seen in years. This can be the most stressful part of the holidays for some.
WebMD suggests that this time of year is stressful because it brings up unwanted memories and unhealthy relationships. Unwanted memories could consist of grief from a family member passing, embarrassing family stories, and uncomfortable situations for you. Unhealthy relationships would be considered relationships where you don’t feel like you’re being understood by the other. Another unhealthy relationship may be where you are constantly being harassed by someone.
Psychology Today released an article saying that they are three choices in dealing with an unhealthy relationship:
- Maintain the Status Quo
- Try to Change the Other
- Change Yourself
If you decide to maintain the status quo, you’ll have to accept that your relationship with this person will not change. This means accepting that Aunt Karen will always make you feel bad for not having a significant other, a mansion, three different “useful” master degrees, and a “real job”.
If you decide to try to change the other person you will need to keep an open mind, and prepare for any possible outcome. Even though you may want to yell at Aunt Karen for always belittling you, this is not the most productive way to change the relationship.
Finally, if you decide to give into Aunt Karen’s demands and change yourself, you’re taking the high road. By changing yourself you can either change your mind set about the situation, or change your feelings.