How to Enjoy Relationships at Christmas - Salt 106.5

How to Enjoy Relationships at Christmas

The Holiday season bring mixed emotions. Enjoy this two-part list of prompts to ensure you don't dread this time, by giving yourself the best head start.

By Natalie BennettThursday 23 Dec 2021The Morning Wake-up with KristianRelationshipsReading Time: 2 minutes

Joanne Wilson, Neuropsychotherapist, from The Confidante Counselling & Relationship Rejuvenator shares her two-part list to help get you thinking about ways you and those closest to you, can enjoy time together this Christmas. 

The Christmas/New Year holidays bring mixed emotions. As much as this can be a joyous and much anticipated time with family and friends, we cannot expect others to fulfil our happiness needs nor expect all to run smoothly and harmoniously.

Don’t allow the coming weeks to be stressful, lonely or overwhelming by planning positive activities for yourself.

Enjoy this two-part list of prompts to ensure you don’t dread this time by giving yourself the best head start.

Part A: Supports a meaningful 2022 ahead

  • A fun activity I never have time for…
  • An activity that always makes me laugh…
  • An activity that relaxes me…
  • An activity that connects me with people I care about…
  • An activity that stimulates my brain to think…
  • An activity that evokes wonderful memories…
  • A spiritual activity that makes me feel connected…
  • A fun activity I have never tried before…

Enjoy crossing out your ideas as you accomplish them. Part B will encourage you how to enjoy relationships.

Part B: How to cope with difficult relationships

Let’s get real! There are often people you wouldn’t normally choose to spend time with at Christmas and New Year! it is very likely you might be working with some. Aside from your out-laws, your partner’s best friend you may find intolerable, others misbehaved children etc, there are also those you dearly love and cannot wait to see.

However, with much disappointment you find their behaviours start to grind within the first few minutes! Why not confront the inevitable feelings of frustration, exasperation, sadness, anger or unappreciation by anticipating what may come up.

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Whilst no one is perfect, why not consider those who may fall into the below categories:

  • Those that will judge or criticize…
  • The inappropriate flirt…
  • The most likely to ignite a vaccination debate:
  • Those that make me feel small and belittled:
  • The most likely to unashamedly control conversations:
  • The most begrudged and unforgiving:
  • Those that are self-centred and will show no interest in me:

How can I possibly look through the lens of love at these people?

Great question, here are your options:

  • Visualise your confident approach to difficult interactions before you arrive or greet guests.
  • Choose your “safe” people whom you can respectfully enjoy sharing perspectives with.
  • Adopt the fine art of changing the subject.
  • Intentionally breathe through difficult topics as you smile, listen and refuse to “buy in”.
  • Envision yourself circling above, remaining tolerant, empathetic, respectful and kind even when others criticize.
  • When necessary, excuse yourself and walk away to take time out to self-regulate.

Most of all, be responsible for your own happiness, and have a great one!