Are you the worst you during the holidays?
Are you the same person you were 10 years ago?
I doubt it.
While we are in our essence the same as we were when we were two years old, we are also constantly evolving.
I don’t know about you, but when I am with my family (particularly during the holidays) I tend to revert back to old behaviors and patterns.
If you are dreading the holidays because you don’t like who you become around your loved ones (or less than loved ones, depending on the family) here are a few things you can do:
1) Take a step back. Reflect on who you were and who you have become. If you aren’t aware of old patterns it can be hard to change them.
2) Appreciate the way it has been. Before we can change we have to appreciate the present state. What was the positive intention behind your interaction? My mentor said, “All acts are an act of love or a cry for love…” which one are you/they displaying?
3) Accept the people in your life as they are and not how you want them to be. A lot of the pain in relationships comes from trying to fit people in a box that they don’t belong in. For example, “I want us to be close or I want it to be like it used to be,” are comments I hear people say. Remember, while people “don’t change,” they actually do. We can’t change them, but they do evolve. Instead of deciding how you want them to be, try to approach the people in your life with a beginner’s mind (meaning, don’t assume you already know them).
4) Be kind to yourself. We can’t expect others to treat us kindly or with respect if we aren’t willing to treat ourselves that way. If you aren’t getting what you want from others, set the intention of providing it for yourself.
5) Set others up for success. No one can read our minds, and we most likely wouldn’t want them to. When you can, let people know what you want and need from them. If you do or don’t want to talk about a loved one who died, tell them. If you are struggling with some aspect of the holidays, share with grace and vulnerability and let them know that they don’t need to fix you.
If you want some more guidance or support for navigating this time of year with more ease and less burnout, check out my new book: The Compassion Code: How to say the right thing when the wrong thing happens .