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SETTING BOUNDARIES FOR THE HOLIDAYS

This time of year is the best because it brings us together with our loved ones and allows us to see family members we haven’t seen in a while. However, it can also be stressful if you have family members that tend to cross boundaries.

We want to share some tips and help ease the stress that may come along with seeing family. These tips can also help all year long and be used to set boundaries with friends, roommates, colleagues, etc.

Be Honest & Say No

It can be really beneficial to be open and honest with loved ones about the way their comments make you feel or about certain topics you’d rather not talk about. Also, try practicing saying no to others. If you’re someone that tends to just go along with what everyone says, create boundaries by saying no more often. It doesn’t have to be hard no’s at first, you can start with soft no’s like “no not right now, maybe next time.” Even though this is the most efficient way, it doesn’t mean that this is the best or easiest way. This may be very hard to do, especially with certain people. So if this isn’t possible for you, don’t worry there are other ways too!

e Ball Game Method

We have a therapist-approved tip to share on creating boundaries for yourself. When someone you know tends to make comments or ask questions that bother you or make you feel bad about yourself, pretend as though those words are a ball being thrown to you. You can still do this even if the comment isn’t directed at you, but it still bothers you somehow. You don’t have to keep the ball with you, so just throw it to the side and therefore you are throwing away the negative energy they sent your way. Looking at the negative energy in a physical way can help you feel in control of what you allow yourself to take in and accept. And remember that most of what people say is more of a reflection of them then it is of you.

Get Some Space

It is important that you prioritize yourself and your feelings. When you get a little overwhelmed or if you’re getting frustrated slip away for a bit. If you’re at home, you can take a minute to sneak off to your room for some space. If you’re not home, just go outside to get some fresh air or take a bathroom break. This can also help if you get a little anxious at gatherings.

Be Prepared

Family can be very nosy at times and this is where they can cross some boundaries. If you know that there are specific personal questions that always get brought up, just prepare some very generic and vague answers that get you out of the uncomfortable conversation. Then you can steer the conversation away and start talking about something else. Eventually (hopefully), they’ll drop it and maybe even realize that you don’t really want to talk about it. It may also help to have a designated buddy with you that helps ease uncomfortable situations. They can also be by your side if there is a specific person you don’t like talking to alone. This buddy can be your sibling, your mom, your dad, your significant other, or whoever you feel comfortable with.

We understand the feeling of not wanting to be rude or disrespectful to family members, sometimes they are just set in their ways. However, we don’t want you to dread or be anxious about family gatherings when instead you should be excited to spend some time with loved ones. Remember to put yourself and your feelings first.

Practicing these tips over time will make it easier. Eventually you’ll have solid boundaries and people’s words won’t bother you so much. Seeing family should be a positive experience, so try to create an environment for yourself that makes it fun. Happy Holidays!


                                             Author- Taylor. S

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