The holidays are coming and this year you’re determined not to let family drama get your down! So what are your options? You can leave town, hope your in-laws decide to spend the holidays with someone else or you can shift the situation and, with it, shift your emotional reaction.
Let’s face it, the Mother-in-Law/Daughter-in-Law relationship starts out artificially. You aren’t family through blood and you didn’t choose to be friends, so how do you build a foundation for a happy holiday?
Here are five tips for (nearly) stress free festivities:
Be a team player - Regardless of who is hosting, remember to ask questions, compliment your mother-in-law or daughter-in-law, offer help and let her know you’re interested in her thoughts.
Don’t take things personally – Everyone is stressed during the holidays, so as long as you know you’re on your best behavior, you can be certain “it’s not all about you.”
Find the humor - No matter what happens look at the humor in it and tuck it away for a story about what she did “this” time.
Find some down-time for yourself – Just a few minutes to reflect and re-energize can be just what you need to get your energy back.
Establish ground rules in advance – Talk to your spouse and agree on how long you’ll be staying. If necessary, take two cars and don’t forget to let your family know what time you plan to leave.
Deanna Brann, Ph.D., is a leading expert in the field of mother-in-law/daughter-in-law relationships. She has over 25 years experience as a clinical psychotherapist and ran her own private practice for more than 18 years. Based in Knoxville, TN, Dr. Brann is a sought after speaker, author and seminar leader. She is also the author of the new book “Reluctantly Related: Secrets To Getting Along With Your Mother-in-Law or Daughter-in-Law “ and “Mothers-in-Law and Daughters-in-Law Say the Darndest Things” www.drdeannabrann.com