As we get closer to Christmas, in the forefront of the minds of many is “how am I going to get through Christmas with… my brother, my sister, my mother, my mother-in-law, etc”. It would be close to impossible to find a family in which there is sweet harmony among all and everyone gets along all the time. It is possible however to survive the holidays amongst even your biggest enemies and not allow them steal away with any of the joy of the Christmas season -- if you keep the following in mind:
You can’t change another person’s behaviour, but you can change your own.
If you find the behaviour of a family member or acquaintance irritating, annoying, or even disrespectful to you, choose to be the better person. In most cases the people in our lives that we find annoying are already aware of our feelings towards them, so there is no point in re-iterating our disapproval. To be the better person, you could try and be understanding of why this individual chooses to behave as they do (perhaps in an effort to hide their own insecurities or maybe to gain attention they otherwise are lacking in life) or you may decide rather to socialize in another room, or perhaps immerse yourself in a mesmerizing game in order to change your focus. To confront the person could be upsetting not only to you, but also to others present as well. Please do not misunderstand me, I do not agree with individuals being disrespectful in any way and I do believe in standing up for oneself, but once you have voiced your disapproval, there is little you can do to stop the re-occurrence of the behaviour.
If one particular individual often invites you to spar with him/her whenever you find yourselves together, changing your behaviour often throws them off guard. In time, they will change as well, as there is no fun on annoying someone if there is no reward of a reaction.
No matter what other choose to say about you, YOU know the truth.
You have no control over what others say about you. People will talk regardless of whom you are. Some of it might be true, some of it might be false, but in the end it really doesn’t matter. If you are secure in who you are as an individual and your intentions are always good, then this is all you have to concern yourself with. Let the rest go!
Nobody can MAKE you feel a specific way!
Your emotions are the result of your thoughts and they are under your control. You choose the thought and the consequential emotion will follow. No matter how much you believe another individual has wronged you, you are adding fuel to the fire if you choose to dwell on the past. Remember the saying, it is not the snakes bite that will kill you, it is the after effects of its venom!
Lastly, be the person that you wish others to be.
Note that in the case of abusive relationships or possible violence, the above advice would not be accurate. In such cases, absolute avoidance should be practiced.