Pair obligations, traditions and responsibilities with tension of family dynamics and you can create a holiday season overshadowed by stress and anxiety before it even arrives.
Dr. Asim Shah, assistant professor in the Menninger Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Baylor College of Medicine, says it is important to set differences apart and be more accepting of others.
“The holidays are a time where you see people that you may not see otherwise, some of whom you may not get along with at all, and they may make you upset, but it’s important not to get angry and ruin this special time,” he said.
Anticipating tense moments around the dinner table? Shah offers way to help you diffuse the situation and survive difficult family moments:
- If you are angry and upset, envision the situation from the other person’s perspective.
- Ask yourself whether it is worth having a fight with that person. How often are you really going to see them?
- Take a deep breath and think it over. You don’t have to react on the spot – your first instinct may be completely different from your reaction if you sleep on it.