Let’s face it, for some of us, the holidays are more like a horror film than a Hallmark movie. Our families don’t always get along and every dinner doesn’t end on a happy note.
Patients often come back to me after the holidays with terrible stories of holiday gatherings gone wrong that have led to some sort of worsening of depression or anxiety.
Every time, I ask if this was the first time this has happened and the answer is always “no”.
Each person is able to admit that they could have predicted this level of holiday drama but they are always hopeful that this time will be different.
While we want to believe that people can change, we have to remember that the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior and plan our holidays with that in mind.
Don’t be so hard on yourself –The behavior of those who disrupt our gatherings has everything to do with them and very little, if anything, to do with us. It is not uncommon for those present to think they could have done something different to prevent this from happening and take the events personally.
They may find themselves planning annually to try to prevent the drama, only to find themselves disappointed due to the behavior of others.
You are not responsible for the behavior of others. You can put forth the best holiday spread imaginable and provide the warmest