In this week’s Success Newsletter, I would like to share tips and insights to ease Holiday Stress.
First a quick update:
Listen to my hour-long controversial interview with Professor Jean Twenge from San Diego State University as we discuss and debate narcissism, self-love and self-esteem.
Look out this week for my list of the Top Ten Celebrity Meltdowns of 2007 along with insights and explanations at FOX News and The New York Observer
Next week I will have available a one-hour podcast with Annie Jennings (Annie Jennings PR) on “Overcoming fear and living the life of your dreams”
Listen to my interview about fear on Sally Jessy Raphael’s syndicated radio show Wednesday December 5, 2007
Now let’s talk about how to ease Holiday Stress.
It’s quite disappointing to hear from many people that there are so many arguments around the Holidays. Ironically, most arguments happen around Thanksgiving and Christmas.
The Holidays automatically trigger every insecurity that we have as well as our fears, anger, frustration, resentment, bitterness, guilt, shame and any other negative emotion that we hide deep inside. The reason this occurs is because we become emotionally vulnerable when we spend time with the people closest to us – our family and when we combine that with our expectations of them and of ourselves it’s easy for the eruption to occur. In other words, all of our hurts, fears and failures are triggered by our family members. While our initial reaction is to blame them, please understand that all they succeed in doing is triggering what is already inside of us. That means we can’t blame other people for the way we chose to respond to them and their behavior.
There are things we can do to avoid arguments, outburst and future hurts and regrets. Here are four of my top nine tips to ease Holiday stress and avoid arguments and fights.
9. Ego and nesting
Many people argue because of ego and stubbornness. We fight over where dinner should be held and who should host it. Strangely, the men usually don’t care, it’s the women who want to nest and host. Why not take turns in hosting or cooking, or, simply contribute to the dinner and event in any way possible. Although you might be right that it should be held at your place (whatever “should” means in this case) remember that being right does not equal being happy. Which would you prefer? View it as a way to take a rest or break – it doesn’t make you less of a person or less significant if you are not the host or hostess this year.
8. Express your feelings
Most of us go nuts around our family particularly if we have unresolved issues and hurts. And thus, we might become nervous, irritable, tense, teary, defensive or offensive when we are at the dinner e.g. we might still be mad at dad because he never told us that we are pretty and beautiful when we were a child but everyday he told sister that she is. Before you arrive at the dinner, take time out to explain to your partner how you feel and how you might act or behave when you are around your family. And ask for his/her help and support. It’s better to be honest, open and vulnerable before the event than have an emotional outburst, shout, scream or create greater pain and future regrets. Remember, the annual family dinner is not the place to try and heal years of pain and resentment.
7. Lower your expectations of yourself
Your family will never be perfect and will never be able to be what you want them to be or what you wish they were or could have been. So many of my clients are stumbled and held back from living life and enjoying it because they continue to carry around childhood expectations of their parents and family. We are all human beings, we all make mistakes and we are all imperfect. Be true to yourself, maintain your integrity but stop expecting others to be what you want them to be. Learn to see the good and bad in everyone and accept their failings and yours.
Begin by forgiving yourself for whatever you have done or not done and then, forgive your family. If it won’t hurt the other person consider writing a short letter to express forgiveness or ask for forgiveness from family members. And do so before the big day. Remember, forgiveness means to give understanding for what happened. You don’t have to condone the action and you can separate the person from the action – if you choose to do so!
My Holiday mantra:If all else fails, hang out with the youngest children – they most likely will be smiling, laughing and playing…
Read the five other tips to ease Holiday Stress and avoid arguments and fights. Click here.
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I wish you the best and remind you “Believe in yourself -You deserve the best!”
Celebrity Life Coach, Human Behavior & Relationship Expert & Clinical Hypnotherapist
Anointed “The Woman Expert” by WGN Chicago, Patrick Wanis PhD is a renowned Celebrity Life Coach, Human Behavior & Relationship Expert who developed SRTT therapy (Subconscious Rapid Transformation Technique) and is teaching it to other practitioners. Wanis’ clientele ranges from celebrities and CEOs to housewives and teenagers. CNN, BBC, FOX News, MSNBC & major news outlets worldwide consult Wanis for his expert insights and analysis on sexuality, human behavior and women’s issues. Wanis is the first person ever to do hypnotherapy on national TV – on the Montel Williams show.