That’s my affectionate shorthand for family drama.
Do you have it? Is it keeping you up at night? Busying your mind and making you feel like crap?
In so many respects, we are an all-or-nothing culture. We’re either bingeing or starving ourselves. We’re sedentary or signing up for bootcamps. When it comes to family, we think we either have to suck it up or cut them off, neither of which is a thoroughly attractive option.
If you suck it up, you’re out of integrity. (Doormat central.) You’re getting hurt over and over again, hoping others will magically wake up and change, see the error of their ways, understand the pain they’ve been causing you, and vow to never do it again.
How long have you been waiting for this unlikely shift?
How long have you been holding your breath?
How many times have you tried to talk yourself out of your truth, out of wanting something better?
I held my breath for years. I tried to ignore the comments that cut me to the core. I laughed it off. I kept coming back and hoped that someone would notice the look in my eye or read my mind. I had a secret hope that old unhealthy patterns would just vanish, and we could all be ourselves and have a good time. It was so draining to live that way. One day, I realized that nothing would change unless I did. So I decided to create the relationships that work for me.
You, too, can manage your difficult family relationships with integrity. You shouldn’t have to sacrifice your mental and/or physical health for the sake of keeping the peace. You don’t have to exhaust yourself with the emotional labour of making sure everyone else is comfortable all the time. Even non-confrontational people like you can navigate these delicate dynamics with integrity and grace. I can help (see below).
Here’s how to get started:
- Start with awareness. Notice when you’re talking yourself out of your perspective, rationalizing behaviour that is unacceptable to you…rationalizing what’s hurting you. You deserve better. Sense your truth, acknowledge it, and have some compassion for yourself. The struggle is real.
- Notice that you’re believing that you’re supposed to make this sacrifice for them. Maybe it sounds like, “Respect your elders,” or “Blood is thicker than water.” Respect is important and family can be very fulfilling, but boundaries are vital. You are distinct from your family. You are an individual. You share genetic material, but maybe you don’t share values. And that’s okay. You don’t have to sell yours to get along – really.
- Cultivate healthy boundaries. This looks like only talking when you want to. It looks like not pressuring yourself to have a response to everything. Silence is powerful and it may have a greater impact than words. Healthy boundaries can also mean leaving when you’ve had enough, or choosing not to participate where it doesn’t feel right for you. (I know it’s scary. Just for now, let yourself consider it.)
- Allow yourself to explore your terms. Do you have a threshold for how much time you can spend together before it starts to go downhill? Is there a pattern there? Do you feel better hosting, being a guest, or meeting somewhere neutral like a restaurant? Would it help to excuse yourself and go for a walk part way through? Make plans that feel better to you rather than just going along with what others want.
When you begin to take small steps towards a way of being that feels better to you, you’ll have more energy and confidence. You’ll sense your own power to lead the relationship instead of going with the flow and losing yourself along the way. This shift is so liberating. It’s time to free yourself from the trap of a dysfunctional family. Walking away or sucking it up are not the only options.
I know how you feel. I’ve been there. Let’s unpack the ickiness, the fear, the resentment. Let’s free you up so that you can have peace of mind and live life on your terms. You deserve it. I want to help you get it, so I’ve made a special offer for the month of December called Ditch the Drama.
Ditch the Drama is for you if:
- You’re tired of stretching yourself thin to make other people happy
- Your family dynamics are a little dysfunctional and you want to get grounded & centred throughout the holidays
- You need new strategies to engage with a complicated family – this is about self-preservation
- You wish you could say “no” to the stuff that you dread without offending anyone
I’m so passionate about helping you feel empowered and free to choose what’s right for you that I’m offering this service for only $97 (tax included for Canadians). It’s a small price to pay to actually feel more peaceful this holiday season, don’t you think?
There are only a few spots left, so be sure to claim yours now. If you have any questions, just hit reply and ask away!
Stay tuned for more tips to help you navigate the holiday season in the coming weeks.