It’s a bit of myth that all families are happy. A family can be a place of love, support and encouragement, but on the other hand they can also be a source of judgement, frustration, criticism and irritation.
Growing up in our families we play certain roles, and these roles become consistent overtime. For example, growing up if you were passive and compliant, your family may now expect you to be a certain way. Ie. Not speaking up and have your own voice, even as an adult. Your family may remember you in this way, and not the way you now are as an adult. This can be a source stress with family members as you come together over the Christmas and holiday period. Noticing and being aware of these family dynamics is important for you to watch out for.
You may not be able to step out of the roles you have in your family, but you have a choice not to react and create greater stress for yourself and your relationships. Working through differences is the best strategy for healthy relationships, but due to the context of the holidays and the short period of time we may get to see our families, the best strategy may be “don’t rock the boat”. Keeping this perspective can help you from potential conflict and disagreements, and reduce your relationship stressors during the holiday season. The last thing you want over the Christmas and holiday period is increased stress and friction with family members.
Let’s strive for a stress free holiday period.
Written by Nazmin Khan – Relationship Counsellor – www.creatingchange.net.au