Celebrating Christmas, for most, is synonymous with joy, happiness and excitement, but it can also be a real struggle for others. The period can often increase sensitivity, but also highlights complicated relationships.
On the one hand, there is naturally lots of expectation of joy and harmony during Christmas celebrations, but on the other hand, the prolonged close proximity with family members can often generate or trigger many emotionally draining conflicts or differences.
The period leading up to the day can be very stressful, whether it’s choosing gifts, preparing the menu or decorating the house. Simple decisions like ''where are we going to spend Christmas'' can turn into a real issue. This is because families are a complex system of multiple personalities, needs, perceptions and differing opinions which can easily lead to conflicts, forming alliances or struggles for attention and power.
But what can we do to avoid these conflicts?
To help you get through this moment with a certain balance, here are some tips, designed mainly to try to optimise personal and family conflicts:
Listen to criticisms, suggestions and comments empathically instead of taking offense.
Try to reflect before responding impulsively. If necessary, take a deep breath or ''walk away'' for a few minutes.
Avoid conflicts by clarifying them and favoring their resolution. Communication is the basis for tuning in and understanding any relationship.
Express your thoughts and emotions. The accumulation of these can trigger tension and motivate hurt, anguish and stress, which makes it difficult to talk about what is happening.
Of course, the tips mentioned above can be very difficult to follow in practice, especially at a time of year when the mobilization of so many emotions and the demand we have on ourselves to live up to the expectations of people as important as our family members are so evident.
We are vulnerable to the idea of rejection or disapproval, whether for reasons of our appearance, performance in professional life, the situation of our affective life and even decisions we make throughout the year.
In this sense, clinical psychotherapy can be extremely favorable. The process of self-knowledge and emotional strengthening promotes well-being with your true self, contributing to the construction of your self-esteem, favoring not only tolerance for differences and regulation of emotions, but also enabling the acceptance of your emotional limitations. The result is a panorama in which your expectations are closer to reality than linked to high levels of demands or perfectionism.
Another possible resource is family psychotherapy, in which the psychologist will be a facilitator and mediator of communication and conflict resolution, promoting numerous benefits in the coexistence and harmony of the group.
Remember: there are no perfect families. It is necessary to respect the differences and limitations of each one for the success of coexistence. Always try, through dialogue and expression of emotions, to enrich the relationship, strengthening the bond, which can be a great foundation of mutual support in each one's life.
If you would like to discuss the tips outlined in this article, please feel free to get in touch with us via the website.