I wanted to take this opportunity to have a quick chat with you about “stress at Christmas.”
Christmas has many expectations imposed upon us by society such as “Christmas is family time, everybody gets together, people buy gifts because they care about you and you are important to them.” If you feel that you don’t have that connection it can cause stress, or if you feel that somebody should want to have that connection with you and they don’t it can cause stress. A huge part of the stress that we experience around Christmas is really because of the expectations that we have of others.
We often don’t communicate these expectations because we think other people should know, we want to be connected to them (it’s Christmas), we want to spend time with them because they’re our family, or our friends. I think what’s really important to remember is that sometimes the stress that’s induced by big family event like Christmas is because of our expectations of what should happen around that point in time, even though sometimes we don’t expressly ask for what it is that we want.
Essentially what happens in many interpersonal relationships with family and friends is that we have expectations of them and they don’t meet these expectations. We think that they don’t meet them because were not good enough and that makes us feel bad. In reality most people are caught up in their own stresses and never realise that what they do is actually having a negative impact on you.
So we wait for someone to invite us to Christmas lunch, we wait for someone to ask us what we want for Christmas or assume that they’re going to give us a gift. The problem comes in the assumption. You already feel rejected if you don’t get what you want. So what’s the harm in expressing what it is you want, if you ask, and you get a rejection, you know exactly whether or not you’re going to get what you want as opposed to assuming and never getting it. (To ASSUME makes an ASS out of U and ME). It’s easier to assume that someone is going to give you what you want because you fear the rejection.
What I would encourage you to do is to take control because when you’re empowered you own the situation, your decisions and your feelings. I’m not saying you wont still feel bad but at least you’ll be clearer in the fact that you ask for something and you didn’t get it. Otherwise, we just spent all of our time feeling really bad for something that often the other person has got no idea that that’s what you wanted. Alright, and this is the main source of conflict between people around this time of year.
So ready to reduce your conflicted Christmas?.
From the Ms Pink team and myself…
May you and yours have a lovingly ‘connected’ holiday season…
See you all in 2018