Written by Dr. Eric Perry
Image Credit: Pixabay
The holidays are a great time to practice setting healthy personal boundaries. It is the perfect setting to speak up and be heard. It is also important to point out that you have no obligation to participate in any holiday event. Allow yourself to not participate without judging yourself.
During the holidays you may experience uncomfortable emotions that you may not be able to immediately process. It is important to be able to sit with these uncomfortable feelings and avoid switching on the autopilot. By avoiding experiencing discomfort you also tend to avoid anything great in life. If you falter don’t be too hard on yourself. If there is one thing about life, it is that there are always more than enough uncomfortable moments to experience.
Even though I recommend that the holiday season is a great time to practice setting boundaries I am not suggesting that you use the opportunity to create an unpleasant environment for all. If someone is disrespectful to you, politely ask to speak to them in private. You are more likely to get your point across if you deliver your message in a calm and respectful manner.
If you do attend your family gathering allow yourself to leave early. It is best to leave on a good note than to make a hasty exit in anger or frustration.
Perhaps it is time you start diluting some of the bad memories you have about the holidays by making new positive memories. It’s very easy for us to bring up bad memories when we don’t have anything positive to reflect on.
It is important to remember to be grateful for our family. Many of us have experienced death and illness this past year and are mourning the loss of a loved one or of our health. Perhaps if we truly realized how quickly life can change it would allow us to be more tolerant of our loved ones. By learning to respect one another’s boundaries we can then enjoy more quality time with the people we love.
Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology
M.A. in Clinical Psychology
B.A. in Psychology
“My mission is to provide you with solutions and insights to help you achieve your goals in a way that fits your lifestyle and your timeline.” ~Dr. Perry
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