OUR RELATIONSHIPS WITH LOVED ONES CAN PUT US ON AN EMOTIONAL ROLLER COASTER AT TIMES
Easter, just like the Christmas holidays, provides plenty of opportunities for family gatherings. With the hectic lives we live, this much-anticipated down time allows us to spend some quality time with the ones we love.
However, for many of us, these family gatherings are shadowed by misgivings. The apprehension of once again seeing the uncle who is filled with regrets who always tells the same stories of missed opportunities, the jealous cousin whose victim talk continually invades the conversation, or the silent brother-in-law with his non-verbal messages of unexpressed rage. All mixed up in an “appearance of good intentions” to keep grandma happy.
It isn’t always easy to navigate your way through these family gatherings. I speak from experience, trust me. But have you ever wondered why these people have so much power over your emotions? What does the way they think or act bring out in you? Often, the criticisms and the judgments that upset you resonate with other, older criticisms that made you doubt your self-worth when you were young. This perspective should help you to see things differently.
Faced with difficult people, you have two choices: Namely that of leaving it be (when you only see your uncle twice a year, a confrontation seems pointless), or of making an effort (with your cousin, for example) to show that you don’t see things the same way, but that your respect her point of view. You can always try to get them to see things differently, but if you remember from last week’s newsletter, it is difficult to change someone who isn’t ready to change.
Are your family gatherings judgmental, or respectful of each other?
Has it happened that you don’t feel accepted by your in-laws or by a group of individuals? The judgments of others can be hard to handle. In order to not fall into the role of victim, as this would only worsen the situation, it is better to fully take on your values and your choices, staying true to yourself and setting boundaries. In this way it will be easier to instill a climate where you can agree to disagree.
We aren’t obliged to please everyone, but it isn’t because we think differently that we cannot be heard. Basically, it is a question of respect. Tell us about your experiences and how you have improved some of your conflicted relationships. Comment on this article on our Orange Blog
FOR THOSE WITH THE ATTITUDE ORANGE PLANNER, for the week of April 16, think of someone you know that you have felt in conflict with and take note of the emotions that come up when you are in their presence. Surely you will find clues to improve the situation.