For most of us, the holidays mean an increased amount of time spent with family, trips back home, and maybe tripping over in-laws in your own house.
For some, this is awesome – a beautiful chance to reconnect with the greatest people you have ever known over Christmas lights and impeccable meals.
For others, it means frustration and stress.
Some people fit in naturally with their home. Their parents are warm and encouraging and provide exceptional role models for which you to model your life after. These people don’t usually have a lot of problems.
For others, they have chosen to use their family as more of an anti-role-model, using their family as a point of reference for differentiation, rather than sameness. For this group of people, coming home is a much bigger challenge.
Either way, going home is often a challenge for personal growth. To family, in contrast to the rest of the world, you are a fixed being and a deviation from what you were when you were 9 is a stress point for them – whether they realize it or not. This is why people change so rapidly when they go to college since it represents the first time a person really gets to define themselves on their own terms in our culture.
Family, conversely, may get annoyed with your new whole foods, keto, or vegan diet, because to them you were the slightly overweight child who loved to town on pizza and buffalo wings. They might scoff at your hippy new-age meditation routine you cultivated when you read the science on the difference between those who meditate and who don’t. Of course, when you go to tell them about to exceptional quality of research that backs you up they laugh it off and dismiss you because you are just little Timmy to them, not Timothy the VP of sales at a Fortune 500 company.
There’s an old saying that bounces around the coaching world and it goes something like this: When you think you’ve achieved enlightenment, go home for the Holidays.
Here are some tips to shake off the frustration for those of you who are shaking off your last trip home:
Family is a gift. Even a bad family can be a gift when you consider that whatever they did wrong also played a part in making you the awesome individual you have become.
That being said, knowing how to navigate family and the challenging emotions that come from them is also an amazing gift!
Your life coach.
The Andrew Warner Podcast: