Hiya! And happy New year to you all! I am just back from a few weeks of holidays and I honestly couldn’t wait to write this post. It does not matter how well you get along with your family, holidays is usually a time when we are meant to experience certain things that we missed about our families and of course others that maybe we didn’t miss as much.
Every family has its own share of drama, after all, just because someone is a parent, that does not make that person perfect in everything. But I have also learned that sometimes, us, the sons and daughters out there, hold on way too tight to notions of how they should be, behave, and so on.I am not going to lie, there are many things I wish my dad was for me, now and then, but I know that he is a certain type of person and that I may never get that type of relationship or support from him. But over the years you do learn to see also the good, the things that you can share with them and I choose to cherish those things.
These are some of the things that have helped me to keep my sanity when family drama showed its ugly face:
Choose surrender over resistance
By this I mean to let go of the ideas on how a certain person should be or behave and simply accept him or her as it is. I know it is easier said that done. Sometimes we may feel disappointed on how some of our family members are or how they treat us as it does not match the idea that we have on how they “should be”. But as long as we get mad about that, holding on to the “should”(full resistance mode) we will not be able to enjoy the good qualities that they may have. And everybody does to some degree.
It is only when we let go of that idea, that we may see other things that we love about them. I started to feel this way more after I lost my mother to cancer. It does not matter at the end who is right or who is wrong about things. Do they have qualities that you love about them? My advice is to enjoy the relationship for what is is and communicate what may not be going so well. Small changes in your responses will take you much further.
When lack of respect or mean behavior is part of the equation SET A BOUNDARY
I don’t think that anybody should experience this. But I have seen way too much drama in my family and in the families of friends to realize that to dramatize it, even more, takes you nowhere. It is always better to explain that A or B would not be tolerated and to set a boundary. With every boundary, there must be a consequence that we must be willing to set in place if the boundary is not respected. That’s it. Remove the drama altogether.
Nobody should be disrespected, and even less in the heart of your own family. But I also believe that people treat you as you allow them to treat you. It is really up to every person to set a boundary where they need it to be.
As I mentioned earlier, little changes in our responses and boundaries will bring a better result in the relationship we have with our family. Sometimes it is hard to see and to implement those changes as family members will make us feel in many ways like children again. But we all feel like this, even our parents with their own parents. It is the law of nature.
But personally, I would think of something that I don’t like and think of a different way to respond or to handle it. I mean, if you don’t like to be invited to events with less than 24hours notice, for example, don’t accept invitations with that short notice. People will get used to it and will let you know earlier. Small changes.
There is a time for everything
If you need to discuss an issue don’t do it in the middle of an argument.Wait, give space and time and only do it when you know what caused the incident and how to explain it from your experience in terms of your feelings. After that let the person time to react. Prepare yourself for an answer you may not like, and give yourself time to decide if you are ok with it.
Every person is different, in my family, there is a lot of unresolved drama, but if we only focused in that, we would not even speak to each other. Those are things to consider. Some wounds just take longer to heal, so that is why I am a big fan of the small changes.
This year has been challenging. Things are changing in my family, and in my life as well. And when unresolved issues show up it is hard not to get hang up on them. But I am hopeful that there is another way to deal with disappointment and drama that is more positive than ruminating over past wounds.
Thank you for reading!