However, for some, Christmas opens the door to all sort of problems, stress and pressures that may have been quietly simmering away all year but suddenly family occasions and the intense expectations surrounding the festive season, see the emotions come bubbling up to the surface making them ready to explode.
With the potential relationship issues within the family and the constant pressure to try and please everyone and do the right thing, you end up agreeing to something that you know is not right for you and your family just to keep the peace. This can lead to feeling angry and resentful as a result, which can can simmer over.
Then there’s the constant expense of it all which seems to go on forever as we are pressured to have the ‘Must Have’ toy/technical gadget, the busy social scene with the endless parties and events to go to, plus the food to feed the extra visitors that have been invited over, which brings stress and worry as to how it’s all going to work out and be paid for.
Christmas parties can bring their own set of problems too. Shyness, unconfidence and being in a social situation with colleagues can highlight insecurities. Then on top of that alcohol can initially play a part in helping you relax and feel more confident, but then your new found courage, fuelled by alcohol may make you say what you really think and instead you end up saying things you deeply regret. Sound familiar or heard of those nightmare stories?
New Way Forward
This is why it’s so important to:
Communicate all the time to family members and work colleagues, to let them know how you feel and to set boundaries throughout the year, so you can deal with big family and work events confidently, calmly and feel more in control rather than lashing out and ending up in a slanging match with your nearest and dearest or even on a disciplinary with your boss.
Communicating your needs and expectations allows us to get on top of any issues and sort things before they get exaggerated and out of control.
2) Remember that setting boundaries never has to be confrontational or defensive. By stepping back and understanding what you are wanting to achieve, means you can frame your boundaries in a productive and positive way.
For example, instead of telling your boss or mother that, “I hate that you are so patronising and condescending and controlling, which makes me really upset and angry.” Instead you can frame it in a different way…
“I know I value our relationship, and love it when it works well, so thought it be good for us both to understand how we help each other achieve what helps us both. From my point of view, what really works for me is when you keep me in the loop, ask my input and we work together as this enables me to learn what you need and I can adapt to be the best help and support I can be, which will hopefully allow you to give me more responsibility and you can give me more autonomy to do my work and help you out much more”. It’s also important to ask them, “So if there is anything I can do to help you and our relationship work the best, please let me know, as this will make life better for us both then.”
Can you see that this latter style helps us get what we want much more calmly and sounds totally different to a defensive, accusatory reaction that we can all slip into if unprepared?
3) By seeing the positives in others you will be emitting positivity to them and they will be more likely to do so back to you, otherwise any focus on others negativity can escalate a problem and end up in a dispute that can carry on for years.
4) Remember that if you do everything with the highest intentions, there is nothing anyone can hold against you, so then you can see the other person’s shortcomings and insecurities and needs, which means you can then let go and move on without holding onto the negative emotion. You’ve done your best and that’s all you can ask for!
I believe relationships can get better with each passing year, although I know that they need to be worked at with good communication to stay on track and to be relaxed and proactive within the family and at work.
If you are having issues with any of your relationships and need some help, I can help you learn new skills to help you communicate more effectively, align yours and your family's or work’s values, remove those old beliefs and negative pathways that cause you to react negatively and sabotage your good intentions. I can also teach you how to cope with everyday stresses and be more relaxed when you are with your family and at work.
Clients call this coaching process I use as “a more constructive and empowering alternative to counselling, with life changing results, as it removes the rubbish that held me back and promotes new positive behaviours and feelings.
I wish everyone a calm and happy christmas and for any help in anything mentioned above please feel free to contact me for a chat on 01252 706995.
Make 2018 a fabulous year!