Mon, 20 November 2017
How To Handle Challenging Relationships Over the Holidays
Ahoy there! As I'm sure you're well aware, the holidays are fast approaching. If you're like many (most?) of our life coaching, therapy, and marriage counseling clients, over the past few weeks you've probably had lots of questions on your mind about how to handle this time of year - especially when it comes to managing your most important family relationships.
While family holidays have the potential to be fun and meaningful opportunities for connection, they can also be fraught with delicate and/or infuriating interpersonal dilemmas for many people. You want to have close relationships with your family or in-laws, and at the same time, it can feel very challenging to navigate the high-intensity holiday season without your family pushing your buttons, and firing off your emotional triggers.
Because of having had bad experiences in holidays past, many people can spend weeks, if not months, leading up to the holidays in a state of "holiday anxiety." We have had a number of thoughtful and heartfelt questions come in recently from our listeners, readers, and clients about how to handle various relationship situations over the holidays.
As a little holiday "care package" for them and for you, I'll be putting on my family therapist hat and addressing them on today's episode of the Love, Happiness and Success Podcast.
Here are some of the questions our listeners (and clients) have been asking lately. I chose these questions in particular because I think that so many people can relate to them...
Grandparents Not Respecting Parents
"Dr. Lisa, I love my husband's family. They are so kind, and generous with us. At the same time, I feel that they do not respect our (especially my) authority as parents. In our home we have expectations for our kid's behavior, and also set limits around things like junk food. I feel that my husband's parents disregard these completely, even when we directly ask them to. The grandparents are overstepping boundaries. In particular, my mother in law is controlling and overbearing. It doesn't matter what I say or how I feel. My husband tells me that it's just the way she is and to go along with it. But I am so frustrated when I'm around her. I need him to set boundaries with his family and he won't. I need to be setting boundaries for grandparents. We are going to be staying with them for a week. Help!"
How Do I Deal With My Judgmental Family
"How do I deal with nosy questions? Even if they are well-meaning, I feel like my family does not get me at all, and like they're always judging me and my choices."
Spending Christmas Alone After Divorce
"This is my first holiday after my divorce, and I feel really sad. All I can think about are holidays I had with my Ex. My friends are busy with their families. I feel lonely. I think I am starting to get "holiday depression" over it. What do I do?"
Toxic Parents: Do I Avoid My Family Over the Holidays?
"I want to have a good relationship with my family, but over the years I have become aware that I have toxic parents. I believe they may even be narcissistic parents. Both of my parents are critical and judgmental of me. My mother can literally be abusive towards me. She is also completely codependent. I have dealt with it in the past by avoiding family gatherings, and avoiding my family during the holidays. My friends have told me I should cut off family entirely, and honestly I have considered cutting family out of my life. I don't want to do that, but I don't know what else to do to protect myself from my toxic family."
Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents
"My parents are the nicest people ever but they drive me crazy. My mom is constantly complaining about her health, and then I watch her sit on her butt all day and eat junk food. She is seriously overweight, has high blood pressure, is pre-diabetic, and will not do anything about it. My father constantly interrupts people. He drinks too much. He talks with his mouth full. My parents are not in a great place financially, and spend way too much money on our kids during the holidays and they make bad financial choices in general. I am literally embarassed by my parents. I want to help them but when I say anything they shut me down. All my "holiday stress" is tied to my frustrating family. How do I deal with this?"
I answer all these questions on today's podcast. Listen, and get some advice for how to manage all of these challenging family situations with love, compassion, tolerance and strength. Do you have follow up questions for me? Or comments? Please share them on the blog!
All the best,
P.S. Here's a link if you want to check out one of the resources discussed on today's show. Crucial Conversations; Tools For Talking When the Stakes Are High, by Patterson, Grenny, McMillan & Switzler
Direct download: Family_Relationships_Over_the_Holidays_-_112017_1.36_PM.mp3
Category:Relationships, Family, Holidays -- posted at: 2:10pm MDT
Tue, 7 November 2017
Single During the Holidays?
As a breakup expert and dating coach, I know all too well that many single people — particularly newly single people — often dread the holiday season, envisioning themselves enduring the upcoming string of holiday celebrations without a +1. But truly, there is no need to worry about feeling lonely during the holidays. If you're single, and want to be in a new relationship, the holiday season is actually a fantastic, highly advantageous time for you to connect with a new love.
Why is dating during the holidays such a great time to launch a beautiful new relationship? Three main reasons:
1. You have the opportunity to meet more people in person, because of all the holiday gatherings and events happening at this time of year.
2. Many, many other singles (fun, beautiful, desirable, successful singles just like you) are also feeling motivated to connect right now and are putting themselves out there too. But there's more: Match.com consistently finds that the Sunday after New Year's is the single most popular day for people to create new online dating profiles. They see a 30-40% increase in their membership on that one day alone. If you get your act together now, you'll have the pick of the litter come January.
3. Possibly most importantly, you have a legitimate reason to wear sequins, sparkles, and / or hilariously ugly holiday sweaters. (All of which are fantastic conversation starters, making it extremely easy for anyone to start up a conversation with you.)
You could totally walk up to this guy and talk to him about his bells and puff-balls. Or maybe just give him a hug.
In short: If you've been sitting on the sidelines, feeling discouraged about the dating game, now's the time to get off the bench and take another swing at finding love. And today's episode of the Love, Happiness and Success Podcast is going to help you do just that.
Free Advice From a Dating Coach
There are just a few keys to successful dating: Clarity, Chemistry, Connection, and Evaluation. We're going to be talking about each of these today to get you prepared to be your best self as you head into this sparkling season, ripe with potential for new love.
I'll be putting on my "dating coach" hat to give you some advice on how to get clear about who you want to meet, and how to attract them. We'll also be discussing the all-important "chemistry factor" and what YOU need to be thinking about and doing to wow all the attractive new people you're about to meet, and leave them wanting more of you.
Additionally, we'll be talking about how to make the most of all your opportunities for connection. You'll have natural "IRL" opportunties this season, in the form of parties and holiday events, as well as the chance to freshen up your online dating profile. Because your photos will make-or-break your success with online dating, I've invited professional portrait photographer Kelly Weaver (who specializes in online dating profile photos) to give you her top tips for getting some fantastic new photos for your profile.
After that, we'll also be discussing the downsides of being so gorgeous and irresistible, which is how to competently handle all the attention you're getting — not to mention the sheer volume of messages and invitations you might be flooded with. No really, having a solid plan in place to manage all the back-and-forth without acquiring a bunch of pen-pals, and quickly figure out who's a good fit for you and who's not will help you focus your energy on the people who are a match for you.
Lot's to learn about dating during the holidays, on this edition of the Love, Happiness and Success Podcast. Listen now...
xo, Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby
Ps: Do you have a follow up question or comment related to this podcast? Join the conversation!
Direct download: Dating_During_The_Holidays-_Tis_the_Season..._of_Love._-_11717_2.21_PM.mp3
Category:Dating, Relationships -- posted at: 3:08pm MDT