Dealing with family drama

Do you panic at the thought of family parties? Feel your stress levels rise the second you enter the room? Well its time to make it stop.
The first thing to realize is that you can only control your own behavior and actions, so stop taking responsibility for others.
To change your own reactions start by planning ahead. Get yourself in a comfortable place and then think about a typical series of events from a family gathering. Consider your usual reactions.
Think about the things that usually trigger negative emotions, sights, sounds, food, alcohol, particular nasty things that someone regularly says, then form a plan of action.
Consider what accusations are aimed at you. Are they true? Do you need to change something about your own behavior or are they the result of the owners own unhappiness? If you don’t see anything wrong with your own behavior then don’t accept the insult. See it for what it is and let wash over you.
Remember you are an adult don’t allow yourself to be dragged back in to old patterns of behavior.
Take a time out if you need it. Avoid drinking alcohol because that tends to heighten emotions not deaden them as most people mistakenly assume.
Give yourself a time to leave, prebook your taxi, arrange to be doing something else later on so you feel you can leave.
Most importantly focus on the positives. Try and remember what you love about them. Once you refuse to participate in old behaviours and stick to it you will find that the others begin to change too since its almost impossible to have a one sided argument.


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