6 Tips for Dealing With Difficult Family During the HolidaysGeorge Burns once said: “Happiness is having a large, loving, caring, close-knit family… in another city.”

So that would explain why the holidays are so stressful. Those dear relatives who live in San Francisco suddenly are lingering in front of your refrigerator in Cincinnati, Ohio and you have to figure out a socially acceptable way of setting the table together, resisting the urge to re-expose the childhood wounds that you’ve learned to protect.

Here are a few tips I use in interacting with those family members who tend to wake my grumpy inner child, triggering an ugly tantrum right about the time Santa shows up with his loot.

4 Comments to
6 Tips for Dealing With Difficult Family During the Holidays

Before posting, please read our blog moderation guidelines. The comments below begin with the oldest comments first. Click on the last comments page to jump to the most recent comments.

  1. the thought about having a close-knit family…in a different town, will always apply to my family. if any child (now grown adult) want to see my dad, he leaves himself a way out by, “i may have plans”. i love the thought of not letting others spew their nastiness on me..

    • I agree cin1-I am 77 and I will not let my adult children and grandchildren “just drop over around xmas time” after all I also have plans and I will not sit by the window waiting for them to come around. If you make an appointment I will perhaps be there. I refuse to be treatrd as a child waiting for Santa. Ugh.

  2. Sometimes, no matter what I do, one or two family members will bug me. All I can do is remember that they are family, but that they will soon find something else to do.

  3. Therese–
    I just discovered your work here and it’s excellent! Your blend of wisdom, humor and courage is insprirational. I look forward to sharing it with my clients and community–keep up the good work!
    Barry Lessin

Join the Conversation!

Before posting, please read our blog moderation guidelines.

Post a Comment:


(Required, will be published)

(Required, but will not be published)

(Optional)

Recent Comments
  • Anon - Useful Tip: I rate myself a ‘medium’ hoarder. For instance, if I buy a magazine, I will keep it,...
  • Jess: I loved the description of the monster. Taking the known “fear” that is causing the panic away is...
  • Yazico: Great article Dr. Grohol, I carefully read it and I found your explanations very realistic. I like the way...
  • I feel the same way!!: I feel the same way when my parents do that to infant they’re doing right now :-(
  • crystal: I enjoyed reading this. I too, like the patient mentioned in the article have an abnormal menstrual cycle...
Subscribe to Our Weekly Newsletter


Find a Therapist
Enter ZIP or postal code



Users Online: 14224
Join Us Now!