An image of a family enjoying a holiday meal together.
VIEW FULL SERIES
Left arrow
BACK TO HOME

Avoiding family conflicts during the holidays

Mental Health
Mental Health
Samantha Harvill
December 1, 2022
Share on Twitter
Share on Facebook
Share on Linkedin
Copy Link

Stay Up to Date on American Grit

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Being around family can cause a lot of unwanted tension and headache that ruin the festivities of the season. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when gathering around the fire with family and friends these holiday months.

Boundaries 

Setting boundaries is the first step to ensuring the integrity of a relationship. This goes for any type of relationship, including the one you have with yourself. Know your own limits and when you know will upset you if you do. 

If engaging in political arguments over the turkey dinner isn’t your vibe, excuse yourself before the topic comes up, maybe suggest that the dinner table is a politics free zone and allow those who do want to discuss to do so in a separate room. If you know that maybe one drink too many makes you someone you don’t really like, confide in someone you trust at the gathering to devise a plan that will help you avoid such behaviors. 

Strategies

Families love to push buttons. As unfortunate as it may be, not all family members respect boundaries that you may put down. If that is the case, there are ways that you can keep your inner peace protected. It may feel avoidant, however, it should help you disengage in behavior that makes you uncomfortable. Excusing yourself from conversations or gatherings can help with the overall tension of the holiday. Without extra fuel, there is nothing to build the fire of anger that may brew. 

Being Proactive  

Know what you're getting yourself into. You know what triggers your family out in the world, and what they are likely to bring to the table to discuss over a few beers. If you’re able to identify their triggers, you can prepare yourself before they trigger you. understanding the subject before engaging in the conversation, to help them better understand the situation may diffuse the tension.

Mental Health Importance 

Though it may be the most wonderful time of the year, it is also one of the most stressful times as well. However, it is a common misconception that the holiday season is statistically the worst for mental health injuries. It may just be harder to deal with stress when the world is expecting you to be festive. If you need to speak to someone about your mental health concerns, click here.  

Take care and make sure to stand up for yourself so 2023 will be your best year yet!

About the author: Samantha Harvill graduated, with honors, from the University of Pittsburgh with a Bachelors of Science in Emergency Medicine and was recently commissioned as a Lieutenant in the US Army Reserves. She is an avid runner, and is currently training for her next marathon.
Adds section
Next Up