Thanksgiving is just around the corner – are you feeling a little tense? Is your mind reeling with snappy comebacks for tough holiday conversations? Just in time for end of year get-togethers, we’re finding fresh ways to practice deep self-care in the November series, Soak It In.
“We don’t act that way at the dinner table. You’ll need to go in the living room.”
Nina’s jaw dropped. “You’re kidding, Carla. You said that?!”
“Oh, yeah. When we went to my son’s house for dinner, his roommate was there with his 4-year old. She’s a really bright, energetic little girl. I could tell her father was a little out of his depth with her.”
“She was jumpy when we sat down, but hey, she’s four. But then she didn’t like what was on the dinner table. That’s when she started yelling,” Carla said, rolling her eyes. “I kept expecting her Dad to jump in, but he was oblivious to her tantrum. I never let our kids act like that. I plainly told her she’d need to leave if she was going to keep that up.”
“What did she do?”
Carla was blasé. “She went into the living room and kept shouting, but we continued talking. After she wasn’t getting any attention, things got really quiet. Ten minutes later, she calmly came back to the table. That was that!”
You might read Carla’s story and hone in on setting limits. But before you start building a boundary stronghold, consider another angle. A key insight is how quickly Carla defused the incident.
Detaching doesn’t require you to condone bad behavior or agree with false beliefs. It is simply a way to shift a heated moment to a neutral place. Anger can be like yeast. The more you feed it, the more it grows and the more you are tied to that experience.
Author Wayne Dyer had similar challenges with his wife’s family. First he quarreled and tried to have the last word. Then he withdrew from family events. However, as he saw the toll the family wars were taking on his wife, he changed to a new approach: curiosity. Observing worked so much better than right fighting.
Are you still anxious about what to say when you’re triggered? Here are a couple of ideas:
“I didn’t know that.”
“That wouldn’t work for me.”
“Thanks for the suggestion, but I have different priorities right now.”
Self-care happens when you take a few deep breaths rather than jumping into the fray. When you stay grounded during stressful conversations. And when you extend the kindness and respect you show yourself to others, even if disagreements arise.
Think of yourself 3 months from now: do you want to endlessly relive this year’s holiday disaster, or do you want it to be a fleeting memory? You’re a Soul Boss – you can bend without breaking. This holiday season, don’t feed crazy. Be the bringer of soul centered peace.