Tackling the Holidays with Crazy In-Laws
The holidays are a time for family, friends, fun... and sometimes, stress. If you're dealing with crazy in-laws, the holiday season can be a stressful time.
From your RAFT Counseling Team in Parker, Colorado
The holidays are a time for family, friends, fun... and sometimes, stress. If you're dealing with crazy in-laws, the holiday season can be a stressful time. It’s important to remember to not take things personally. Remember, it's not about you—it's about them. Difficult in-laws often have their own issues that they're projecting onto you and your spouse. Try not to take things too personally and focus on enjoying the time spent with the rest of your family and friends instead. Let’s get more specific with other ways to deal with challenging family, so you can all have a happy holiday!
Don't sweat the small stuff
The holidays are meant to be a time of joy, so don't let the little things ruin it for you. If your mother-in-law criticizes the way you decorate the Christmas tree or your father-in-law gripes about the turkey being dry, try to let it roll off your back. It's not worth getting worked up about. Not every little thing is worth getting upset about. Pick your battles carefully, and only argue about the things that are really important to you. Don't sweat the small stuff, or you'll just end up exhausted and stressed out.
Establish boundaries early on. It can be difficult to stand up to your spouse's family, especially if you're still getting to know them. But it's important to establish boundaries early on, so everyone knows what is and isn't acceptable behavior. If your in-laws start to overstep those boundaries, don't be afraid to gently remind them. Let them know what you're comfortable with and what you're not comfortable with. For instance, if you don't want them staying with you for more than a week, be firm and tell them that's the limit. They may not like it, but it's better than having them overstay their welcome and driving you crazy.
Communicate with your spouse
It's important that you and your spouse are on the same page when it comes to dealing with his or her family. Talk about your expectations for the holidays, and come up with a game plan for how you'll handle any difficult situations that might arise. That way, you're both on the same page and can support each other through anything that comes up.. Having a united front will make things easier for both of you.
Take a break if you need to
If things start to get too overwhelming, don't hesitate to take a break from the situation. Step out for some fresh air or take a nap if you need to recharge your batteries. You don't have to be available 24/7; it's okay to take some time for yourself. Just make sure to let your spouse know what you're doing so they're not left wondering where you went off to.
The holidays should be a time for peace and love—but sometimes, that's not what happens when we get together with our extended families. If you're struggling to deal with difficult in-laws this holiday season, use these tips to help get through it. And remember, at the end of the day, it's not about them—it's about spending time with the people you love most. Happy Holidays from the RAFT Team!