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Three Behaviors That Could Ruin Your Holiday Time with Family

Holiday. Road sign on the sky background. Raster illustration.

Yeah, the holiday season is upon us and we’re all looking at spending a little more time, perhaps, with extended family.

Will this time be a blessing or a curse?

If you fear it will be a curse, then here is a list of things to avoid doing.

Follow these, and if you don’t end up feeling blessed because of your family time, you may at least feel more neutral.

Are you planning on ruining your holiday time with family by doing the following?

1. Predicting how AWFUL so and so will be…

My brother is so full of himself. He’s going to be bragging about how great he is again.
My father is so overbearing – and he treats mom like crap. I can’t handle all that.
My Auntie Loo Loo is just NUTS. I feel bad for her, but can’t stand her nonsensical stories.
Mom is SUCH a martyr. She’ll be walking around feeling burdened but still won’t accept any help!

With this kind of negative anticipation, you’ll ruin the week before any family gatherings as well, ruminating in advance.

Solution: Let people be. They are living their own lives, making their own choices.

2. Getting sucked into opinion wars…

Lots of us want to prove how much we know when we get back together with family. Opinions about politics, religion, money, parenting and so on are on display. Do you want to dive into this potential mess? Worse, do you really need to prove that your opinion is right, when you know others may not agree?

Solution: Let people be. They get to have their opinions, too.

3. Resenting…

Resentment is so easy. What are you likely to resent at your family gathering? Maybe you don’t feel like you can be yourself. Your family probably wouldn’t approve, right? Or maybe they wouldn’t even get you at all if you shared who you really are.

Your sister never disciplines her kids. Your uncle drinks too much. Your embarrassed for your mother, who has to put up with her jerk of a husband. Opportunities to feel resentful abound. Will you buy in?

Solution: Let people be. What good does resenting something you have no control over do? How does it benefit you to get angry on the inside or out over things that don’t even affect your day-to-day life?

Happy Holidays

Three Behaviors That Could Ruin Your Holiday Time with Family

Mike Bundrant

Mike Bundrant is the author of Your Achilles Eel: Discover and Overcome the Hidden Cause of Negative Emotions, Bad Decisions and Self-Sabotage and co-founder at The iNLP Center which offers online certification in Neuro-Linguistic Programming and life coaching.

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APA Reference
Bundrant, M. (2015). Three Behaviors That Could Ruin Your Holiday Time with Family. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 20, 2019, from


Last updated: 25 Nov 2015
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