How to survive the traffic, the tension, and the family drama that each November makes so many people give thanks for their “life’s blessings”
Associate Head Coach Robin Wright-Thurnley’s take on sex, love and relationships.
With Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and New Year’s just around the corner it can seem like five weeks of anxiety and emotional turmoil lined up for you. For some, this signals a traumatic time that will find many anxious, overwhelmed and even depressed.
Last-minute shopping to fraught family gatherings and feelings of loneliness, it’s a huge sigh of relief when January rolls around.
The Holidays can be a time of anxiety and dread. The sometimes forced family gatherings bring the greatest challenges – those which involve family dynamics and unfinished childhood issues:
- the very parents and siblings who once failed to recognize our accomplishments
- who competed with us for attention
- who forced us to grow up too quickly
Interactions that can stir up long-buried feelings we thought we put behind us.
We hope that our parents will finally show interest in our career, not criticize our romantic choices, and be the loving parents we always wanted. When they dash our unconscious fantasies and once again respond with condemnation or disinterest, we may again become bitterly disappointed—at our parents and even at ourselves for getting our hopes up.
Your Holiday Survival Plan
Before you plan/attend a family gathering around the Holidays you should:
- recognize, prepare for, and ultimately let go of old wounds from childhood and fantasies of acceptance from your parents and siblings
- We continue to play out these dramas in adulthood, finding friends and loved ones who similarly disappoint, only to reconfirm our unconscious opinion about how we will never be good enough for others. What can you do to get past this?
- Try talking therapy to address these issues in ways that allow us to finally feel recognized by an important other (in this case the therapist), and ultimately by ourselves.
About Robin Wright-Thurnley
Robin is an Associate Coach at Phoenix Relationship Coaching where he guides men towards achieving their dreams of lasting love. He is married to the successful Author Ruby Binns-Cagney