It's that time of the year again. The time when family dramas and conflicts that have been kept at bay will resurface and issues get stirred up. The time when we have to see people that we wouldn't choose to see the other 364 days of the year. Like clockwork, in November, I get an influx of patients seeing me for stress directly related to the holiday. I've identified 7 things that people do that ensure they'll be stressed out. Here are the ways to deceive yourself and ruin Thanksgiving:
- Buy into the belief you have a "perfect family" or that the holiday will be "perfect." Doing so only sets you up for disappointment as most families are not perfect and most holiday gatherings usually run into some sort of hiccup. By adjusting your expectations you'll less likely be disappointed and stressed should something not go according to plan and you'll also take the pressure off yourself.
- Bring up and participate in conversations that historically have proven to be sensitive. Doing so is asking for trouble. Avoid the hot button topics such Obama's health care program, a divorce in the family, or other emotionally-laden topics. There are plenty of other subjects that are much safer. Go equipped with safe topics and positive speaking points.
- Feel like you have to win the argument. You might do so, but at what cost? Keep in mind the possible ramifications of pushing your points. Ask yourself, is it worth it to win the battle but lose the war? Simply acknowledge the differences and move on.