mental health awareness

Flipping the Script on Holiday Drama

Flipping the Script.png

Although on Facebook, social media, and in movies I see the act of gratitude and a display on intense and meaningful family love, I rarely experience this in real life or hear about it from my clients.  The holidays can be fun or uneventful, but more often than not feelings that have been lingering under the rug for years can be brought to the surface with one passive aggressive comment or judging attitude.  Even if it’s not super dramatic, most people seem to have difficulty finding and practicing gratitude after holiday get togethers and family time. 

 

How much of this is because of our attitude going into the event?  I think we tend to set ourselves up to experience drama or ill feelings towards a family member by thinking too much about it or getting mentally ready days before the event.  We create a self fulfilling prophecy by making predictions about what will happen and how terrible it will be.  Then it doesn’t really matter what mom’s attitude is or how dad asks a question, we read it as negative and respond negatively back.  It really is important to go into situations with as few expectations as possible to prevent yourself from either seeing everything through a negative lens or setting yourself up for disappointment. 

 

Sometimes it won’t matter how positive you are or how strong your boundaries are, how compassionately you communicate or how clear you assert yourself – there will still be sensitivities and discomfort at times with family.  Think about what you can control versus what’s out of your control.  You can’t control distasteful questions or judgy eyes staring you down, but you can control your response and how you communicate a boundary around asking such questions or your feelings about being judged.  And when you’ve done everything you can do, it still may not be enough to break through to your family or get the respect you’ve been waiting for.  In those moments, all you can do is sit with the discomfort and flip the script. 

 

Flipping the script is thinking about what you are able to gain from these experiences and how it can help you become a better person.  For example, maybe you didn’t realize there was a sensitivity or shame attached to a certain issue, and your aunts invasive questions have allowed that feeling to be brought to the surface so now you can face it and learn to deal with it.  That’s something to be grateful for even though it’s difficult in that moment.  Maybe solidifying the idea that certain relationships will not change and you can now label them as toxic and work to get them out of your life.  It could be that you’ve gained insights as to why you are the way you are, or you have opportunities to practice empathy and compassion (or self-compassion).  If you allow it and are open to flipping the script, any interaction or moment no matter how horrible it feels at the time can become meaningful or helpful, and that is something to be extra grateful for. 

 Stay Connected with Me on Social Media


If you are looking for someone to help you understand yourself better, help with conflict resolution with your partner, or need a listening ear in regards to infertility, postpartum depression and anxiety, new parenthood, or perfectionism, please know I am here for you.  My practice is located in League City, Tx and I offer couples therapy, individual therapy, and online therapy.  Call me for a free 15 minute phone consultation at (832) 827-3288 so we can talk more about how therapy works and determine if we are a good fit. 

Is Mental Health on Your Wishlist? 9 Strategies for Keeping your Sanity this Holiday Season

Have you considered yourself or your mental health during the holidays?  It's such a great time of the year, but it can be stressful and bring up painful and uncomfortable emotions as well.  I'll give you 9 concrete strategies for managing your stress levels and finding ways to enjoy this time. 

"Will I Ever Be Good Enough?" A Relatable Approach to Self-Compassion

Have you heard of self-compassion?  In short, it's a way of understanding the human experience of pain and suffering, knowing that everyone suffers, and being compassion about your own inadequacies or short comings.  For me, I feel like the language of self-compassion can be hard to connect with, but the ideas are so amazing!  Here I break down some of the ideas in a real way that you can embrace. 

"When Are You Going to Have a Baby?" How to Start Communicating about Infertility

Are you facing infertility or trouble conceiving?  It can be difficult to explain your situation to family and friends, and inevitably they will be asking you questions about when you're having a baby, or another baby, and when they will become grandparents.  Learn how to begin talking about infertility so that those difficult conversations don't become hurtful and destructive.  You can get the support you need by processing your emotions and communicating your needs clearly. 

Do I Need to go to Therapy? 5 Signs Counseling is for You

Have you notice changes in your every day life?  Is it difficult to get through normal tasks?  Are your relationships strained?  There are many reasons that people go to therapy.  Don't wait until you are in crisis to get help.  Here are 5 signs that counseling may be for you.  Life is hard, why not get help making it a little easier?