Thanksgiving is right around the corner. That means all your lovely family members coming together to be thankful.
I'm bringing you today: 4 Tips to deal with the family. 5 Books to feel grateful. Plus 6 tips to stay happy.
4 Tips To Deal With The Family This Thanksgiving.
Here's what 4 top influential voices around the internet have to say.
Take charge of seating.
Have some of the younger kids make place cards and assign seats. Folks are less likely to switch places when admiring kids’ handiwork. Put people who rub each other the wrong way at opposite ends of the table. Seat the most troublesome person right next to you or one of your co-conspirators so that you can head off unfortunate conversation topics as soon as they start.
- 10 Tips for Surviving Thanksgiving with the Dysfunctional Family
By Marie Hartwell-Walker, Ed.D.
Have a strategy if things get out of hand.
There is an old axiom in etiquette books: treat family members like friends, and treat friends like family. Few people do this. Those who would never insult a friend often feel free to make unkind remarks to family members. This is how things get out of control at Thanksgiving dinners.
Carol Rubin, writing in Psychology Today, says to watch out for the following signs that a fight is getting out of hand: issues proliferate, attacks become personal, people call each other names, and more and more family members get involved in the fray. Try changing the subject before an argument escalates. Use humor to diffuse a situation or try remaining silent if you are attacked. If necessary, get up and leave the table.
- How to Avoid a Family Disaster at Thanksgiving: Plan for a Holiday that’s Just So-So
In this exercise, you look to your family not for love and understanding but for comedy material. Watch closely. The more atrocious your family's behavior is, the funnier it can be in the retelling. Watch stand-up comics to see the enormous fun they can have describing appalling marriages, ghastly parenting, or poisonous family secrets. When you're back among friends, telling your own wild stories, you may find that you no longer suffer from your family's brand of insanity; you've actually started to enjoy it.
- 5 Ways to Survive Your Next Family Gathering (Oprah Magazine)
By Martha Beck
Think about how topics that seem innocuous to you might upset someone else.
You may think you’re showing a polite interest, but some questions will rub a person the wrong way: “So do you have a girlfriend yet?” “When are you two going to get married/start a family?” “Didn’t you give up smoking?” “Can you afford that?” “When are you going to get a real job?” Show an interest with more open-ended questions, like “What are you up to these days?” or “What’s keeping you busy?”
- 8 Tips for Dealing with Difficult Relatives During the Holidays.
By Gretchen Rubin (Author of The Happiness Project)
5 Books To Inspire Gratefulness Within You.
A Simple Act of Gratitude:
How Learning to Say Thank You Changed My Life
By John Kralik
Your Journey to Joy
By Nancy Leigh DeMoss
The Gratitude Diaries:
How a Year Looking on the Bright Side Can Transform Your Life
By Janice Kaplan
Living Life as a Thank You:
The Transformative Power of Daily Gratitude
By Nina Lesowitz and Mary Beth Sammons
How Practicing Gratitude Can Make You Happier
By Robert Emmons
Lastly, 6 Ways To Stay Thankful AND Happy This Thanksgiving
1. Don't take other's idiocy personal. The inappropriate comment by your uncle Jimmy, ignore it. Yep, don't take it personal. You control your mind and your words, not other's. If someone loves to complement, that's their business. If someone loves to complaint, that's also their business. Mind your own business. Mind your own mind.
2. Play along with the kids. Especially the ones with happy feet. Pick up on their energy. Kids have no worries and vibrant smiles. They will share with you the world through their eyes, bringing you nostalgic feelings and a greater perspective on the passage of time.
3. Smile at those you want to connect with. People are drawn to you when you smile at them. The long-lost cousin you'd like to catch up with, send her a smile from across the room, she'll appreciate it.
4. Use Happiness Triggers. When stuck, bored, or stressed out, use happiness triggers to break the cycle. Lift your mood as well as other's by encouraging them to join in the fun.
5. Create something you can be proud of. This might be baking something for thanksgiving dinner, creating a postcard for a loved one, or even creating a tower out of Lego blocks whilst playing with the kids. Give yourself the opportunity to feel successful over small wins.
6. Reading will open your mind to new ideas. It'll make your conversations more interesting. Rather than the asking the same old questions you ask year after year, you can share interesting ideas with family members.
Keep improving, my friends.