Surviving Christmas with a dysfunctional family.

Christmas time is here once again. A time for joy, love and sharing... or maybe not for some.


It’s rough out there right now for sensitive people. So what if you are an HSP (a highly sensitive person)? It is not a fallacy - we do exist - and you so want your day,  your holiday time to go well this year.

You’ve been through disappointments, limitations a go to your social life, travel, to living life as we once did spontaneously and all the change and drama of covid. So you take a deep breath and buy your tree, put up your fairy lights and start buying gifts for loved ones. But the loved ones are...complicated. You trigger them, and they trigger you, but you would be lonely without them. Family represents wounding and feeling overwhelmed. These are unresolved wounds from the past. Here’s what to do.

How to get through Christmas with a dysfunctional family

1. Decide what you want. Forget the obligation and in your own sovereignty..decide with your heart and your intuition, not your head. You have the right to choose

2. Be curious and open to heal (if you decide you want to go and share your time with family). Often being with family triggers us. A trigger is something that emotionally kicks off in us when we are in the presence of someone who wounded us emotionally in our past, or a scenario that has a similar feel or echo. We can go into a heightened state of reactivity ..not good when an exit is hard or controversial, and often where conflicts within family gatherings can start so before you walk in the door.

Be aware, have a plan. If triggering is likely and if one occurs, breathe. It's so important. In for four and out for five. This steadies us and stops the reaction it puts you into respond not react. You keep your power that way always. You CAN do things differently when you are aware..awareness is the place where big changes begin to happen.

3. Work with your third and fourth chakras. The third chakra is your chakra for personal power and sovereignty where your solar plexus is. The fourth chakra is where your heart is, where we feel love and compassion and empathy where we feel connected to people.

These two chakras are very important when dealing with either family or inter-relational problems because we have to learn to stand with ourselves but at the same time have your heart open to love people. This can be hard this balance, but it is the balance that eradicates regret and post emotional fallout and keeps things in the now - no mess afterwards! This provides a bridge between your own truth and self-respect and the ability to care for others.

4. Strategic exits. If you decide you don’t want to stay, if it feels like there is bickering or difficulty, do not let anyone guilt-trip you into staying. It is totally valid not to want to be in an unpleasant situation. You can leave early when you have done your best! Stay in your own heart and self-connection. Sometimes, the most loving thing you can do IS to remove yourself from a toxic situation no obligation no guilt no shame.

I hope these tips help you navigate your way around difficult family dynamics so that your Christmas is beautiful and emotionally healthy.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Life Coach Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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London, N8
Written by Gail Berry, Emotional and Relationship Coach
London, N8

Written by Gail Berry Emotional Coach..both a therapist and an alternative medical practitioner who works with healing people’s core wounds and uses Bach Flower Remedies alongside talking and behavioural therapy to make real change and transformation possible

07771 715072
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