It’s almost that time of year, to sit and gather with family and friends. Some are fortunate that circumstances have allowed it, and you can gather with others. There are other’s who’s circumstances haven’t allowed them the time to gather with others, whether it’s being in a foreign country, military service, finances, or other reasons. Christmas has long been a time for people to gather together, to share time and gifts with each other. Christmas has also been one of those times where some feel forced, you spend time with people who you can’t wait until that time ends, so that you can go back to your separate lives. If that describes your family dinner, this post is mostly for those folks, but with some good tips for others.
The Sun will rise tomorrow, don’t be surprised when it does:
When your family member does those annoying quirks that drive you crazy, take a step back and breathe. A few weeks ago I was talking to a friend who was venting to me about someone else. I sat and listened, then I asked 1 question, “how many times before have they responded in this exact manner to a similar situation.” Of course the answer was “he always does this.” So if someone always responds in a certain way, why would you be surprised when they do? It’s like going to bed tonight knowing that the sun will rise, then when you wake up tomorrow, be completely surprised that the sun is there. Instead of being surprised then somehow angry when your family member does that one thing that always annoy you, expect that the’ll do it. No it won’t stop you from being angry, but you will get over it faster. I’m most certain Christmas isn’t about anger but rather joy and piece. Spend the most of your time being happy, it’ll make the time much more enjoyable.
Family are people, people are annoying, so therefore family are annoying:
As in the earlier part don’t focus on being angry. We all have our unique quirks about us, take those quirks as an opportunity to learn more about who they are. Use those quirks as part of a puzzle, each part shows a clearer picture of who the person is. Why not have a conversation about it, of course asking “why are you such an idiot, why do you do that stupid thing when …” might not be a good way to start that conversation. Imagine that you have a backpack full of information about the people you know. The contents of that backpack can only be used for good, they are not there so you can take them and beat people of the head with them. It’s always fascinating learning new things about people, whether it’s annoying or likable. People love to talk about themselves, use the time at your family gatherings to learn more about them and their lives. I’ve found a remarkable thing happens when you open up, being vulnerable is an opportunity for growth. I’ve found that sharing my thoughts have brought me closer to some, have thought me things about myself, and I have found thing in common with the most unexpected people. So why not use the time with your family and friends to learn more about them, is there a situation or a particular triumph or hearth ache that you shared? Of course the caveat is you can’t share everything with everyone, some people don’t need to know everything. However that’s the beauty of being vulnerable, sometimes you put things out there not knowing what will come back to you. I’ve found it a very refreshing experience for the most part though. So share more with them other than some random gift, you haven’t seen them all year, how could you possibly know what they want for Christmas.
You can choose to be happy or sad, for the most part anyway:
I’ve been a bit crabby the past week, last week I was sick and in bed, but this week I have no excuse. Not being able to be with my family and being single I guess has it’s effect on me too. A few weeks ago I read a post on The Daily Love about being happy about being single during the holidays, I thought that was crazy but the writer had a point. Many of the things we do in life is about choices, we can choose how we want things to go, well to a certain extent. But here I was yesterday despite all the positive and good vibes things I read, I was still being crabby for no reason. I was at work doing something I love, it was festive and Chritmasee, and I was being crabby. I asked myself is there any reason why I’m feeling like this, is anyone other than me preventing my happiness? That was all set into motion by a friend asking me why I had not written anything this past week. Well I learnt a few things there, first off someone actually reads my post?? and that I was being silly by sulking. After I snapped out of it, despite being on my feet for hours, I actually had a good time. I was pleasant, interacted with people, even when they acted like idiots. When I approached them in a pleasant manner they stopped acting like idiots. Just as I made a choice to be happy, the same applies to you and your family. You can choose not to be angry or upset, especially when someone does something that you expect them to do.
So as you spend time with family and friends, first remember that people will be annoying. If they are people you’ve known your whole life, it shouldn’t surprise you when they are that way. Don’t be mad, choose to not let their behavior upset you. Lastly take the time to form a deeper connection with them, get to know THEM better. That could also be an opportunity to be vulnerable, share in your triumphs and pain, see where that goes.