Why is it that we always look forward to getting the family together for Thanksgiving but when that day arrives we say,
“What was I thinking???”
Is it because we are hopeful for that “perfect” family moment captured by Norman Rockwell’s Thanksgiving picture?
Is it because we really do have short-term memory?
Whatever the reason, you may find yourself trying to cope with annoying relatives during Thanksgiving. So what do you do?
Here are 5 ways to cope:
1- Forgo or limit alcohol to better control your words.
Face it, the more you drink alcohol the bolder you become. Your inhibitions are suppressed and your judgment becomes skewed. Unfortunately, no one gives out “talking under the influence” tickets … so it’s best to self-monitor. Because really do you think you’re helping the situation if you tell your mother-in-law where she should really go?
2- Expect people to behave the same way they have in the past.
Past behavior is indicative of future behavior – why would there be any reason to change? If you have an aunt that always complains about the way you raise your kids, why would this year be any different? It’s difficult to change people. But you can change the way you react. By recognizing that people will be the same you manage your own expectations.
3- Remove yourself from stressful arguments by using easy excuses.
If you feel your blood pressure rising from a stressful argument, find an excuse to leave the room. Use easy excuses such as going to the restroom or checking on the turkey. Practice using a transition statement before your excuse. For example, “I wish I could continue our conversation but I need to use the restroom.”
4- Sit far away from your annoying relative.
If you sit far away from your annoying relative, then your interactions will be limited. If you are not in their direct view at the dinner table, they may direct their annoying comments to someone sitting closer to them. Strategically finding the right place to sit can save you from indigestion.
5- Use humor to diffuse tension.
Adding a bit of humor to a situation can diffuse tension. But be careful with sarcastic humor , it can fuel the fire instead of putting it out.
Annoying relatives and Thanksgiving go hand-in-hand. Try to enjoy the day for what it is … and be thankful it occurs only once a year.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Niv Persaud, CFP®, CDFA™, CRPC®, is the Founder of Transition Planning & Guidance, LLC. Her firm bridges the gap between financial planning and coaching. As a Transition Consultant, she offers sage advice in all aspects of life – financial, personal and professional. Niv does not manage money and does not sell financial products. Her services include spending plan development, divorce financial review, life strategy and professional progression. Niv actively gives back to her community through her volunteer efforts. She believes in living life to the fullest by cherishing friendships, enjoying the beauty of nature and laughing often — even at herself. Her favorite quote is by Erma Bombeck, “When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left and could say ‘I used everything you gave me’.”