How to set boundaries with family during the holidays?

3 min read

Boundaries are extremely important in any kind of a relationship. They help us to distinguish between what is healthy for us and what is not. It also helps us to know our priorities and the people and behaviours that we should not deal with or situations we should not settle for. Boundaries help us to prioritise our mental and emotional health. It is important to communicate the boundaries to the people around us to give them clarity in the significance of them. “When you decide to set boundaries, it’s essential to listen to yourself. Pay attention to what truly matters to you, identify your needs, and be aware of any feelings of resentment, anger, or discomfort. These emotions often signal the existence of weak boundaries that need strengthening.⁣ Giving yourself permission to say no is a powerful aspect of boundary-setting. You don’t need to overexplain or justify your decisions to anyone. Saying no allows you to spend time meaningful way and aligned with your priorities.,” wrote Therapist Emmylou Antonieth Seaman.

How to set boundaries with family during the holidays?(Unsplash)

With the holiday season approaching, it is important that we understand the importance of setting boundaries with our family. Here are a few ways:

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ALSO READ: 5 ways to create healthier boundaries: Expert shares tips

Participation: In the holiday season, there may be family traditions that are too stressful for us to take part in. In such situations, we should tell them clearly the reason and let them know that we would like to stay away.

Offensive comments: There may be relatives who criticise us in hurtful ways or make offensive comments. We should let them know that we are not comfortable with the conversation, and they need to stop.

Family member’s behaviour: When a family member’s behaviour makes us uncomfortable, we should tell them that we would prefer to not be a part of the discussion.

Personal questions: Sometimes family members can step on the boundaries and ask questions that we are not comfortable answering. We should tell them that we are selective about discussing such things with them.

Childhood experiences: Some past and childhood experiences are difficult for us. When they are brought up by relatives or family members during the holidays, we should immediately set certain boundaries.

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