Thanksgiving is a time of gathering friends and families, turkey and stuffing or a vegetarian option, overeating and coming together.
It is a time for catching up and quality family time of gathering everyone together which is not always easy in our busy lives.
And it might also be a time of fireworks with old issues coming up. There can be challenges within the dynamics of parents, siblings, children, in-laws etc. So what do you do with the person who always says something to upset you? "You always....you should....you never."
We spend a lot of time and energy attempting to change the situation. Thanksgiving is not the time to address issues. You can change the outcome by having a plan of how you are going to react positively, no matter what! Decide you are going to "humor" everyone and I guarantee you will feel better afterwards.
Personalities are predictable and if you think back you know which people are going to push your buttons. Dad always says this, Mom always takes over the kitchen, my sister is always late, etc. Here are some suggestions:
Make a game with your family of what time these events are going to occur or even within yourself. I bet that Dad will say this after ½ hr of arriving. Give yourself points for being right.
Manage your expectations. If they generally react this way, unless they have new awareness of what they are doing, they will probably do it this time too.
Prepare a comeback comment….not sarcastic. “Jenny you are always cooking these weird, healthy dishes.” Big smile “Yes I keep trying and one of these times you are going to love them. Would you tell me if you did?”
Be prepared with a positive comeback based on past triggers for you.
And if all else fails...wish you had an imaginary glue stick. :)
Here are some personality patterns tips:
Perfectionists-sticklers for being on time, details matter, forks on the left, knives on the right
Helpers-Ask what do you need help with. Will be in the dishpan cleaning up afterwards. Let them help
Achievers – Ask about work and latest deals. Compliment them on being well dressed-image is important to them..
Individualists - Be sensitive to their emotions. They often feel different so be sure to include them.
Observers-likes stimulating intellectual conversations, factual, simplistic and often environmentally conscious. Good topics for discussion.
Skeptics - may be focused on what could go wrong....turkey overcooked, etc. They are often witty and has a sharp sense of humor so lighten things up that way .
Enthusiasts - life of the party, fun to be around, lightens things up if family gets too serious. Encourage their telling of their latest adventures whether they embellish them or not.
Challengers - Takes charge easily and has big energy. As much as possible let them lead.
Peacemakers - Keeps the peace, likes everything harmonious. Easy to get along with and great at creating harmony.
Most of all, have FUN. Happy Thanksgiving.