Dealing With Family Tension Through the Holidays

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Dr. Liz Hale ReportingIt's supposed to be a time for getting together with loved ones and family, but for some people that can turn into a potentially explosive situation. It's Thanksgiving Stress. And to help us get through it all is Dr. Liz Hale. She's a clinical psychologist who will be joining us regularly.

For some families the smell of fresh baked turkey won't be the only thing looming in the air. You know what I'm talking about! Tension!

When family members who aren't all that crazy about each other gather around the Thanksgiving Table, old hurts and conflicts often simmer right next to the gravy. A common misconception is that the holiday season is a time to work out all the bugs in the family system. However, resolving deep conflict takes time and it doesn't make for very pleasant dinner-talk.

Unrealistic expectations are another source of holiday misery. You might believe that "normal" families (whoever they are) are having an intimate, loving, fun, perfect holiday. And you feel very disappointed and angry when yours isn't.

Here are a few tips to help avoid tensions around the Thanksgiving table:

  • Create a structured day
  • Have Activities
  • Avoid Heavy Topics
  • Don't extend your stay

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