Spending the holidays with annoying people

“Everything that irritates us about others can lead to an understanding of ourselves.” Carl Jung

So you will be spending the holidays with an annoying family member you don’t like.

You think it will be better this year. You won’t let them get to you.

As soon as you see this annoying person, you tighten up. You look away, then remember you are trying to be polite. You smile, say hello, engage in enough small talk so that you can avoid them the rest of the night without appearing rude. It works for a little while…until the wine kicks in and the comments come out….

Trumps latest political tirade. Your son’s behavior. Your daughter’s weight gain. The passive aggressive bragging about why they are better than you. The off-color joke. The rude comment.

You feel yourself starting to lose it. Promising yourself you won’t do this again. This is the last time.

You. are. done.

This holiday tradition happens in many homes around the country. But the best way to deal with it is before the event begins.

Instead of avoiding the issue and pretending like everything will be fine, use your past experience to predict and plan for the future.

I know it seems like THAT person is the annoying one and if they would just behave appropriately, then you could enjoy the family gathering. But THAT PERSON isn’t the problem.

The reason we get so annoyed is because of who we become when we are with them.

We don’t like tensing up and “making nice” when we don’t feel like it. It’s easy to get annoyed with ourselves for not saying the right thing at the right time. We wouldn’t be so bothered by them, if we acted in a way we admired. The reason that person gets under our skin is because of how we act when we’re around them.

The best way to stay true to yourself, no matter who is around or what they are saying, is to give other people permission to be who they are.

Give your uncle permission to think Trump is the lord and savior of our country.

Give your aunt permission to make passive aggressive comments about your unruly children.

Allow your Dad to raise his eyebrows at your spending habits.

Trust your Mom to make comments about your weight.

Give your brother permission to brag about his expensive splurges.

Expect your boss to make inappropriate comments about your co-worker.

Write down everything ridiculous thing you think might happen at your holiday party. (Doing this with a friend doubles the fun!)

Then watch the party unfold and your brain stay calm. This activity keeps you from arguing and getting annoyed “He’s an idiot, She shouldn’t say that, that is NOT OK!” to feeling satisfied, “I knew he was going to say that”.

This creates a win-win scenario for you. You either get to be right, or you get to have a peaceful evening without getting triggered by idiots.

You get to decide what you think, how you feel, and how you act. When we spend time with annoying people, it doesn’t feel like we have control over this. Allowing other people to be idiots, allows us to be ourselves, and stay in control.

If you struggle to stay calm and true to yourself around certain family members, schedule a free discovery call and let’s get you reconnected with your higher self, no matter who is around you.

 

Is your teen constantly arguing with you?

Try “letting go of the rope” to get your arguing teen to relax.

There is a family therapist in my area who specializes in working with teens. We both speak at the same conference every year and she has a very different take on how to handle arguing teens.

“If your teen isn’t telling you they hate you once a day, then you aren’t doing your job.”

What?!?!   SERIOUSLY?

If my teen was telling me that she hated me everyday, then I would HATE my JOB!

If I hated raising teenagers, I would disengage, avoid them, be resentful of them and white knuckle it until they were out of the house. WE CAN DO SO MUCH BETTER!

Arguing teens and power struggles are very normal, but not much fun. We go back and forth, fighting for who’s right. It’s annoying and exhausting.

Mom – “Get off your cell phone and do your homework”

Teen – “I am! My homework is on my phone.”

Mom – “You can’t concentrate with all those distractions”

Teen- “It helps me study”

When we argue and disagree with our child, we begin a tug of war with them where nobody really wins. Even when we fight for a good cause, it doesn’t give us the result we are looking for.

Teen- “I’m so stupid/ugly/fat”

Mom – No your not honey, you are beautiful inside and out”

Teen- Yes I AM! Look at this ZIT! I’m HIDEOUS!

What happens in a tug of war power struggle, is the teen yells louder and pulls harder in the opposite direction, in order to “win” the argument.

Teen – “I hate school. Ms. Wilson is such a loser.”

Mom – “Now, honey, I’m sure it’s not all that bad.”

Teen – “YES IT IS MOM!  YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND! SHE’S A HORRIBLE PERSON!”

Mom – “Don’t talk that way about people!”

Instead of entering into the power struggle, try “letting go of the tug-of-war rope” by agreeing with them.

—————————————————————————————————————-

Mom – “Get off your cell phone and do your homework”

Teen – “I am! My homework is on my phone.”

Mom – “Oh yeah, your teachers want you to work on Google classroom now. How is that working for you? Do you like it?

Teen- “It’s ok”

Mom – Is it hard to stay focused on school work when your phone has so many temptations on it? Let me know if there’s anything I can do to support you.

——————————————————————–—————————————————

Teen- “I’m so stupid/ugly/fat”

Mom – “Wow, your brain is telling you all sorts of mean things about yourself right now.”

Teen- Well, I AM!  Look at this ZIT!

Mom – I see your zit. I’m sorry that you are feeling ugly. That’s not a fun way to feel. Is there anything I can do?

———————————————————————————————————————–

Teen – “I hate school. Ms. Wilson is such a loser.”

Mom – “Wow! You REALLY don’t like school and you sound especially mad at Ms. Wilson.”

Teen – “School sucks and Ms. Wilson is totally unfair.”

Mom – “You did not have a great day today.”

Teen – “Do we have any food? I’m STARVING”

When we agree with our teens, we diffuse their energy. There’s no need to keep driving home your point, getting louder and more emotional. Eventually the conversation gets boring and your teen moves on.

This “letting go of the rope” strategy will help you ENJOY parenting your teens.

When we enjoy parenting, we engage more with our teens, take classes, read blogs and learn to become better versions of ourselves. Creating homes that feel peaceful, make it a more relaxed and enjoyable place for everyone.

If you aren’t enjoying parenting your teen, schedule a free discovery call to see if life coaching is right for you.

Do you want grateful teenagers?

THANK YOU SO MUCH!  I AM SO GRATEFUL TO YOU!

Thank You so much for letting me into your mailbox! Every time I see a new subscriber sign up, or an long time subscriber open an email, I feel SO MUCH GRATITUDE!

It’s like when I was a kid and the doorbell would ring. I’d get a rush of adrenaline, of optimistic potential, hoping someone was at my door asking if I could come outside and play. When you sign up for something I’m offering, I get a rush thinking, “someone wants to play with me!”

Do you want grateful teenagers?

Did you know research shows expressing gratitude, writing someone a note of thanks, can increase your happiness for a whole MONTH after you send it?  Since the #1 way kids learn is by imitation, let’s try writing our kids a note of gratitude and appreciation. They’ll feel more appreciated by us (which makes them nicer to be around), we’ll be role modeling how to express gratitude, plus we get to feel happier for a whole month! Want to join me?

WARNING – Signing up for my Leading Your Teen Masterclass will increase the feelings of happiness and gratitude in you and your teen. Do not sign up if you want to stay angry. Feelings of peace, confidence and control are common side effects. 

Dr. Martin E. P. Seligman, a psychologist at the University of Pennsylvania, tested the impact of various positive psychology interventions on 411 people, each compared with a control assignment of writing about early memories. When their week’s assignment was to write and personally deliver a letter of gratitude to someone who had never been properly thanked for his or her kindness, participants immediately exhibited a huge increase in happiness scores. This impact was greater than that from any other intervention, with benefits lasting for a month.

Another study, by psychologists Dr. Robert A. Emmons of the UC Davis, and Dr. Michael E. McCullough of the University of Miami, discovered the effect of gratitude this way. One group wrote about things they were grateful for that had occurred during the week. A second group wrote about daily irritations or things that had displeased them, and the third wrote about events that had affected them (with no emphasis on them being positive or negative). After 10 weeks, those who wrote about gratitude were more optimistic and felt better about their lives. Surprisingly, they also exercised more and had fewer visits to physicians than those who focused on sources of aggravation.

Instead of focusing on those things teens do that drive us nuts, write them a letter thanking them for the behavior you would like to see more of. It’s a win-win 🙂

Learn more about Leading Your Teen Masterclass 

My a-ha moment and why bother doing scary things

Overcoming fear and life coaching for busy, bored moms

I used to worry. A lot. As a kid, I was scared to say the wrong thing, scared to make someone mad, scared of water, bugs, or walking down the street at night. When I became a Mom, this fear just expanded: scared of something bad happening, scared of running out of money, all sorts of things. It’s easy to be fearful in our culture. The media perpetuates it and I’ve worked hard to overcome it. Now I seek out doing new and scary things. Why? What’s the point of doing things that scare you when the world has enough fear already?

The answer came to me in one, clear “a-ha moment”.

I had just finished a life coach training course with my teacher, Brooke Castillo, and she took us to a ropes course in Lake Tahoe. I’m sitting on a 8 inch square platform, 100 ft above the ground with tears rolling down my face. I’m tied to another coach who is behind me, struggling, scared, I didn’t really know, because I was above her and if I looked down to see her, we would both fall. My heart was racing, my breath was short from the effort of the climb, or from the altitude, or the fear, who knows. There was nothing to do but sit and wait for my companion to be coached into climbing up to join me. I was SOBBING crying, and I didn’t know why.

As I sat and got curious about what my tears were all about it, it hit me. I had spent so much time afraid…. of nothing. Here I was sitting high above the ground, scared out of my mind, and it was actually kind of FUN!  I felt exhilarated! Fully alive! It was a beautiful day. I’m surrounded by beautiful scenery. I enjoyed pushing myself and climbing up so high.

Could it be true that REAL, GENUINE FEAR IS ACTUALLY KIND OF FUN?

All those years I spent in “fake fear” were such a waste!

This started my journey pushing myself outside my comfort zone. Looking for opportunities to grow and challenges to take on, what a better way to go through life!  The way I lived my life constantly worrying, left me drained. Now, with my self-imposed, “bring-on-the-fear attitude”, I can’t wait to get out of bed in the morning.

Do you ever feel like your life has become too routine?

If you feel stuck, like you are just going through the motions, busy, but not inspired, then it’s time to shake things up! These feelings happen when we stop growing.

The world we live in doesn’t offer us a lot of REAL LIFE fearful situations. We use TV shows and the news to create scary situations in our minds, but these stop us from taking action. We have to do hard and scary things outside of our comfort zone in order to evolve ourselves as humans.

Don’t let your kids be the only ones who embrace challenge and grow.

Do you have a dream but you are scared to action? Are you so stuck in care-taking that you forgot how to dream for yourself? It’s hard to do scary things without help.

Go to www.LifeCoachingforParents.com/work-with-me to schedule your free life coaching session and start having more fun.

We aren’t meant to be passengers in this life. I believe we are meant to be creators of our future. The reason I believe it is because I’ve done both and living with genuine, deliberate, fun fear, feels SO MUCH BETTER!

 

Should I go or not?

Are you dreading an event that you’ve decided to go to?

I’m trying to decide if I should go to my class reunion. It starts in two hours so I can’t procrastinate any more. No one I was close to in high school is going to be there so it will just be vaguely familiar names and faces, that I will probably never see again.

I don’t feel strongly about going, or not going, which makes decision making difficult.

Are you going to an event, even if though it make you feel uncomfortable?

Maybe it’s your school auction, family reunion, class reunion, or work party that you feel obligated to go to? Going into an unfamiliar setting with unfamiliar people is awkward for many of us. As I get ready to go to my class reunion tonight, I’m pulling out two life coaching tips I use in situations like this and I thought I’d share them with you.

  1. One way to get people to connect with you is to make yourself vulnerable (teenage girls are really good at this). It’s counter intuitive because when we are nervous, we tend to put up our protective shields and act “cool”. But if you can humble yourself in some way, others will connect more easily and feel invested in your well being. Tell someone that you feel nervous or uncomfortable not having anyone to sit with. Ask for advice with something simple like, “Where should I put my coat?” or “What drink should I get?” I’ve got a button on my dress that I can’t reach. Instead of working on it, I decided to leave it unbuttoned, then ask someone in the ladies room to fasten it for me. People like to help others so just by lowering yourself a little, you can make them feel good about being around you, making a slightly deeper connection than small talk provides.
  2. When I think about walking in there by myself tonight, I feel nervous about so much unfamiliarity. It’s overwhelming. By narrowing my focus, I can feel calmer and more in control. So instead of thinking about everyone else, I set an intention to experience something I value. You can choose to focus on enjoying food other people have prepared for you. Maybe you value new restaurants to explore or maybe there is one person you are looking forward to seeing? I know that people will be asking the very broad and annoying question “So what have you been up to for the last decade?” So I’ve decided to tell them about the up and coming projects I’m excited about (my new Supermom is Getting Tired podcast and facebook group!) These projects are much more interesting to me than my past and make me more excited about having the same conversation over and over again.

If you’ve decided to do something, you aren’t sure you want to do. Try these two tricks to enjoy yourself more. Humble yourself so that others can feel helpful and invested in your success, and set the intention to experience something you value. Thinking about your favorite conversation topic, beautiful scenery, or discovering a great new show to watch on Netflix, can make you feel in control.

Most people regret the things in life they don’t do, more than the things they do. So when in doubt, say yes.

 

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