(AbsoluteNews.com) – Hallmark movies always seem to paint a picture of perfect holiday bliss, but it’s rarely the case in real life. In fact, getting together with extended family can create a lot of stress, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be that way. According to psychotherapist Lucy Beresford, spotting red flags and heading them off before they become a problem can go a long way to preserving Christmas cheer.
Psychotherapist @LucyBeresford (author of Happy Relationships (@MHEducation)) writes for @DailyMirror about what to look out for this Christmas to avoid unnecessary family drama 🎅 #christmas #relationships https://t.co/iMs5jwsEVr
— The Book Publicist (@BookPublicistUK) December 3, 2021
There are many triggers to avoid. For one, alcohol can loosen lips and be a catalyst for drama, especially if there’s someone in the family struggling with alcoholism. Avoid giving liquor as a gift to a relative who has a drinking problem. Vow to stop making excuses for a relative who has too much holiday cheer. If controversy starts and becomes upsetting, promptly exit the situation without engaging.
Another trigger to avoid is the angry family member. Holidays can dredge up intense emotions, and some people express themselves with anger and pick fights with everyone over anything. Instead of responding in kind, Beresford says to put on a smile and greet them with kindness to defuse their anger.
Then there’s the debate trigger. The biggest issue this season during family get-togethers might lie in those who love to debate. Politics can be divisive among family members and turn into heated arguments quickly. The psychotherapist suggests heading off the problem by establishing boundaries ahead of time.
Finally, let everyone know you won’t be engaging in any controversial discussions so you all can enjoy your time together celebrating the yuletide as a family.
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