Dealing With Difficult Relatives Over The Holidays….
The holiday season can bring out the best and worst of us, especially when it comes to family gatherings. If you're dreading spending another Christmas with your obnoxious in-laws and other assorted relatives, here are some tips on coping with difficult family members around the holidays, from Mark Bryan, author of Codes of Love: How to Rethink Your Family and Remake Your Life:
Catch up on family news before the holidays, so you're better prepared to discuss what's going on in the lives of other guests.
Stay in a hotel or with a friend so you can retreat to a safe harbor.
Don't expect a lot and try not to dredge up the past. Focus on the present.
Have a phone friend standing by so you can vent when meddling family members begin to overwhelm you.
Don't be a slacker. Make a sincere effort to pitch in and help at clean-up time.
Don't force deep conversations or pry for information.
Let your in-laws take care of you, if they want to.
If you have a newborn, make family members work around your schedule.
Don't let in-laws walk all over you -- you are not a doormat.