Keeping your cool at Christmas


A message from Brian Hunt, Senior Counsellor, Catholic Social Services

For most families Christmas is a time of joy and goodwill. Love and is in the air as family members and friends gather to reconnect after long absences.

However, for some these re-connections become the source of pain as old wounds from the past are reopened leaving what was to be a happy time together in disarray.

Why does this happen?

One of the many reasons causing conflict and unhappiness at this time of the year, may be because of the family dynamic whilst growing up. During childhood overly critical parents or other siblings created an environment of family dysfunction. After a short period of calm and reconnecting again as a family old behaviours re- emerge due to critical comments, judging, belittling or trying to force you to be someone who you are not, and so the old cycle, or family dynamic continues  leaving what should be a happy time at Christmas the scene of recrimination and conflict.

How can you prevent this happening?

When you are faced with a conflict and feel like your buttons are being pushed and you are descending into an old and vulnerable place. Pause, take a few deep breaths, count to ten or to one hundred before responding to the comment; or you could say nothing. This will give you time to calm and recover, and respond in an adult manner.

Have a great Christmas.


Keeping your cool at Christmas

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