The picture above courtesy of pexels
With Thanksgiving coming up next week, I thought I’d talk about family. The holidays are supposed to be the times in which we get together with family and laugh, talk, remanence, give thanks and most of EAT! But sometimes that’s not always easy, especially if you have dysfunctional family members or a MEMBER! which could make those holiday gatherings very uncomfortable.
There’s a quote that says, “Families are like fudge, mostly sweet with lots of nuts.” Does that sound like your family? Because let’s face it, we all have a family member or relatives who seem to have come from another planet than we did.
While we may all wish we can send them back for a replacement, they are still part of our family and despite the ups and downs that surround them, we have to deal with them and love them the same. I used to think that everyone had a good family except for me because we seemed to fight all the time and just when you thought everybody was getting along, something would come up out of nowhere.
It could be from something my mom said, my dad did, my sister thought or how I reacted, and the next thing we know, no one would pick up a phone for months on end.
As I got older, I realized that even the biggest families had issues and no family is perfect by any means and while my family was distant, there were other families who didn’t come together at all or allowed hatred to circle through them and build a fire that never ended.
We can’t save the world or help every dysfunctional family but listed below are a few tips to maybe keep the line of communication open with our estranged relatives before, during and after the holidays.
#1. Communicate regularly.
This may be very hard for some families because most of them have built up so many issues and have held onto so much hurt, that it’ll take several counseling sessions to get those layers pulled completely away. But I’ve found that most family situations can be solved if we can learn to talk to each other before a situation escalates out of control.
*At least you try to talk it out, even if they don’t want too*
Do your part, because at the end of the day, what YOU DID really will matter. If they choose not to conform, then you did your part – pray for them and move on. Hopefully, they’ll come around when they’re ready.
#2. Seek counseling from a family therapist.
If regular communication does not succeed, then counseling is the next step. Some dysfunctional family issues may have nothing to do with you per se, but it could have something to do with what an older family member did.
Issues could’ve already been in place prior to your birth, in which the family never settled among themselves, which caused division with other family members. Counseling helps to get us past the “Then” to help us be better for the “Now” and future family generations to come.
#3. Back off but not completely.
Most families feel that most fiery problems will resolve themselves by staying away, in most cases, this only makes matters worse and hatred increase. While situations may become too strong to handle and you may have to back off just to protect yourself, don’t allow it to stay that way.
Don’t let weeks, months, or even years keep you from being connected to your family unless you have been totally pushed away and in that case – it’s not your fault or problem but the individuals who closed the door without making amends.
#4. Forgiveness is key.
When you’ve made every attempt to bring about reconciliation, but find that there’s no effort on their part, then you have to forgive them and move on.
Forgiveness doesn’t excuse the behavior that dysfunction brings, but it allows us to learn from what happened and to let it go (in which is a process all by itself)
Remember, it’s not about what they did, what they said or what they haven’t done; it’s about what you do. Forgiveness is your pass to have peace for yourself not them.
We cannot change our families, because we’re stuck with them forever. No matter what we think or how we feel about them, they are a part of us, and we are apart of them.
But you’ll find out that family no matter how dysfunctional it may be, is a really great addition to your life. It’s something that everyone dreams of having – even if it can’t be with their “natural” ones.
Okay, so BIG announcement. My next post will be on next Wednesday and will be my last post for the year. I know, I know – don’t cry……haha (I’m sure you’re not) Anywho, I’ll not only be taking a break from blogging but also social media as well. After next week, I won’t be posting anything until after the beginning of the year.
What will my last post be about??? You’ll have to see next week – hint, hint: it’s going to be light and informative (the fun informative =)
See Ya Next Week Friends!!