“We are family
I got all my sisters with me
We are family
Get up everybody and sing” – Sister Sledge
My intention was for you to sing that in your head. Maybe you did, maybe you didn’t. Either way, I know that my current family situation doesn’t make me wanna “get up and sing” all the time.
This blog post is not meant to be melancholy, but more to bring up conversation around this topic. Holidays can be cause for family drama and a lot of us can get stuck in what we think we “should” do or say when it comes to being around our families. Often times, we end up only spending time with or conversing with these people because they have the title of aunt, cousin, dad, or sister.
I grew up as an only child. I’ve never wanted anything more than to have a big, happy family. You know like the ones you see on TV commercials where everyone gathers around the huge table adorned with gorgeous food, eating, drinking, and having a blast? Unfortunately that was never my family situation. At most, we would have maybe five people sitting around our table during holidays.
I’ve always thought that your family and friends are the ones who are supposed to love you, support you, and have your back no matter what. I love my family, I do, but as I grow older and transform into my own person with my own ideas and opinions, my relationships with family members have evolved as well.
With that being said, I believe that every relationship in our lives is a CHOICE. You do not have to continue relationships with ANYONE, regardless of if they share the same bloodline or not. I think a lot of people don’t realize that it is100% okay to choose not to talk to someone, even if they are a family member.
Maybe you have an incredible family where everyone gets along and is fully accepting of who you are, or maybe you’re super anxious about seeing Aunt Carol at Christmas because she always harps on you about when you’re going to finally settle down, get a real job, and get married. Whatever the case, I want you to reflect inwards. Ask yourself if these relationships are filling you up and allowing you to be the best version of you?
Survival Guide to Holiday Family Drama:
Set Boundaries and Stick to Them – Don’t get caught up in “shoulds”. You don’t “have” to do anything. Protect yourself and your emotions. Draw a line in the sand with how you allow others to speak to you and the topics they speak about.
Practice Tolerance and Patience -Allow people to be who they are – you don’t have to love EVERYTHING about your family. We all do things that get on the nerves of others. As long as they are respectful, they have a right to their opinion as well. Try to see things from their perspective too.
Take a Gander – As you head into family events, evaluate the communication aspect in these relationships. Which feel easy? Which cause you to feel like you’re walking on eggshells? Then ask yourself, what can you own and change in these patterns?
Control the Controllables- I know I always say this, but it’s important to remember. You can’t control the actions of others, but you can control how you react to the situation and how it affects you. You have the power. Choose how you react.
REMEMBER: You do not have to tolerate toxicity in your life just because someone is “family”.