A group of lions is called a pride. It gives the impression that lions are proud of their own family members. Unfortunately, each year during the holiday season, few family members talk about how proud they are in being part of their own family. Instead, many complain how unpleasant they feel toward those family members who have caused them emotional pain . Their voices drag halfhearted with fake smiles, as their internal thoughts lingers of aged resentment all throughout the holidays.
Too often puns are used as a passive-aggressive acts of expressing dissatisfaction for ones own family. For example, “Happiness is having a large, loving, caring, close-knit family in another city.” “Let’s have a family gathering for the remaining family members who still speak to each other.”
No therapist or self-help book is going to help solve your family problems in time for the holidays if you have not started working on how to improve that relationship months or years ago. However, you have two choices. One, you can bitch and complain about how unfair your unfavorable family members have been to you. Or, you can take a deep breath and “let go” of the resentment during the holidays. I don’t mean forgiving or forgetting. I am also not referring to “positive psychology” as if just by thinking positive your problems will be resolved. Whatever the reasons are, justified or not, as to why you feel this way, these issues ARE emotionally deeply rooted in the dynamics between your relationship with that conflicted family member or members.
Personal Revolution Therapy (PRT) offers real mental tools for coping with family relationship problems during this holiday season, without having false expectations that “Everything is going to be alright” for the holidays. First, take a deep breath to help stop those negative images toward that unwanted family member or members. If those images persist, you need to take an extra minute and pray to help clear your head. Never underestimate the power of prayer. Second, allow yourself to understand that nothing can be done now during the holidays to improve that relationship, especially if no efforts were made to improve that relationship throughout the year. The real truth is that you and you alone have control of your own feelings, thoughts, and actions. You do have control on how you want to respond to unwanted family members, no matter how subtle and pretentious your actions can show during the holidays. You need to take accountability to decide whether you are to be in a bad mood or not. Do not blame the other family member for your mood. Lastly, Once you recognize that you are emotionally in charge of your own feelings and thoughts, you will find yourself genuinely “Letting go. ” By “Letting go,” you will take the best possible action toward that family member by walking away if that family members begins with his/her shenanigans. Do not let them ruin your holiday.
Dr. James Triana