Loving Family Environment

How to Cope With Difficult Relatives This Holiday Season


We all have that one relative who makes us cringe during holiday get-togethers – that the thought that they won’t make it to your reunion is so relieving you could throw a party. Yet, being around difficult relatives actually help us learn more about ourselves, and we’re just willing to learn from these people, they could help us become better and more mature individuals. To help make this process a bit easier for you, we listed down some helpful tips on how you can deal with that one family member that you’d rather not see on the holiday dinner this year.

  1. Identify What Makes Them Annoying

Is your relative a bully, devious or pompous? Perhaps he or she has a personality problem. But whatever the problem is, make sure that you identify and label it. Although it’s never a good idea to box people into categories, labelling the problem with your relative could help you see their behaviour more objectively, and create a healthy distance between you and that person. Just make sure that you wouldn’t mindlessly share this label with that person or you’ll end up experiencing a full-force blow out.

  1. Know Their Background

Taking an emphatic stance is another way of minimizing your negative attitude towards a difficult relative. Do you know why he became difficult? Perhaps he experienced a challenging childhood; maybe they felt misunderstood and coped through lashing out. Whatever the reason is, knowing a little bit about them will certainly shed some light as to why he behaves that way, making him actions more tolerable.

  1. Invite a Close Friend

Bracing yourself for an intense exchange with a difficult relative? If so, invite a friend who understands your situation. If your friend can’t support you in person, then call him or her instead. When the tension starts running high, having someone who you can bounce your feelings off can help in easing your negativity and making you feel more equipped to handle any drama.

  1. Laugh It Off

Use your humour to handle difficult relatives who would otherwise have you wanting to throw down. Some psychologists even recommend using silent humour so you can avoid internalizing the negative comments that your difficult relatives are saying. For instance, if your cousin is known for undercutting you, pretend that he’s a stranger who just found his way to your get-together. It can be difficult to feel irritated when you throw humour in the mix; plus, it’ll give your difficult relative less control over your actions.

It’s still possible to enjoy your family gathering even if you’re interacting with a difficult relative. Simply putting these tips to work will surely help you deal with that person, while enjoying the holiday season with the rest of your family.

How to Deal with Stress at Home

Stress is a fact of life. You deal with it at work, at home, at the streets – it can be just about anywhere. There’s really no way to avoid it. The best way to get around stress is just to learn how to deal with it or how to manage it. Stress caused at home can cause a huge emotional toll on our well-beings especially as we consider our homes to be our sanctuary. That means this should be the only place in the world where you can feel relaxed, happy, and loved. Unfortunately, reality bites. Here are some ways on how Singaporeans can deal with stress at home:


Recognize stress for what it is

It’s almost impossible to determine when a stress is slowly building up. This is considered to be an abstract or an invisible emotion since you only know you’re already stressed out when you’re already expressing yourself in negative emotions. Some people become easily irritated or hot tempered when under stress, some feel depressed, while others resort to crying. It’s important to recognize how one copes with stress as well as the situations that trigger it.

Recognize stress from children

Stress is not something that’s experienced only by adults. Kids can feel it, too, but they just express it differently. Kids may be stressed due to school demands, conflicts with friends, etc. What you should do is to teach your kids understand what stress is and their behavior when under stress. It’s also good to make the kids understand that this is just an ordinary emotion that can be controlled.

Woman stressed home

Recognize stress from spouse

As a spouse, it is important that you recognize when your partner is dealing with stress. Rather than leaving your spouse alone to deal with stress, you can help lessen the burden by sharing it. Engage your spouse in a positive relaxed conversation where your spouse can vent out tensed emotions. Try to exert understanding by avoiding blame on your spouse and listen with patience instead. You may also add sooth the tension by providing words of comfort.

Engage in stress-buster activities for the family

When you know that the whole family is undergoing a lot of stress, it’s best to engage in stress-free activities to relieve negative emotions. You can have a delicious relaxing dinner at your favorite restaurant, go on a convenient stress-free vacation, or play outdoor games as a family.


How to Cultivate a Loving Family Environment

Home is where the heart is. This is not because your home is where you grew up in and is conveniently your comfort zone but because this is where your loved ones are. To put it in another way, wherever your loved ones are is where your heart is. A Singaporean family should be loving and affectionate but the modern days have seen more and more broken and dysfunctional Singaporean families. Individuals coming from such families are just as broken and even dysfunctional. This is why creating a loving family environment is important in bringing up well-rounded individuals.


Be lavish in your affection

Be lavish in expressing your affection to members of your family to let them know that you love them and care for them. There are many ways to show your affection. You can kiss and hug, say loving and encouraging words, give presents, allot a portion of your time with them, and offer services that don’t expect a reward.

Spend a lot of quality time together

Families that spend a lot of quality time together are more bonded even after the children have grown up and have their own families. Make your quality time something that you would all look forward to by making it exciting and memorable each time. You can simply eat delicious meals together, go on camping trips, go on vacations, or play outdoor games. The goal is to get to know each other deeper and love each other’s company.


Render acts of kindness for one another

Family members should be relied on when one is in need. Render acts of random kindness for one another. This should be done without any expectation of anything in return. Helping each other go through a difficult task or a difficult time in each other’s life is one sure way to cultivate love and affection within the family.

Relish in affectionate touch

Do not shrink from kissing, hugging, or patting each other on the back. Kids that are given a good dose of physical affection grow up to be confident and happy individuals. Spouses that constantly validate each other’s love and affection through physical touch are happier and more committed to each other. Be role models of how love should be expressed by showing it at home. Kids that grow up seeing their parents affectionate with each other develop a more positive idea of love and relationships.


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