Have you ever heard the phrase, “love is not supposed to hurt”?
Organizations which help people recognize whether a relationship is doing them more harm than good, tell this to their participants as a plain and simple way for them to know whether they are tolerating more than reasonable discomfort in their relationship.
It is an easy phrase to keep in mind and has deep meaning and encouragement for someone considering to leave a relationship characterized by manipulation, pervasive negative interactions, threats or actual harming of one partner by the other.
Basically, pain is not part of a good relationship.
So why do we expect ourselves to tolerate people in our homes and celebrations during the holiday season, whom we know ahead of time we don’t get along with, and who may act out, get drunk and create an awkward situation for other guests?
“Because the holiday season means putting up with people who we wouldn’t usually tolerate anywhere near our lives”?
Maybe this is your reason.
It doesn’t need to be your only choice.
Instead of cultural belief or family expectations, consider the most valuable step in making your holiday guest lists and deciding which parties you will attend, is allowing yourself flexibility in your choice.
The first step is to recognize your reasons for deciding whatever choice you prefer.
Holidays don’t need to hurt.
Sometimes the hurtful circumstance is unavoidable.
If someone with whom you feel close is gravely ill in the hospital, going to their sick bed during holiday season may mean meeting a similarly caring friend or relative who is visiting at the same time as you, and with whom you don’t get along or even like. Polite behavior means you and the other person interact in a friendly way with one another.
Less urgent, the circumstance of planning fun holiday gatherings has more leeway for personalized criteria of your social comfort.
Realize you have a vital role in your holiday happiness.
The degree to which you accept and act in this capacity is up to you.
“Happy Holidays” are truly possible, especially if you plan your activities based in the sense of freedom and strength to respect your own wishes of what you truly enjoy during the holiday season!