Maybe it's been a few years since you've been back. You've changed and sometimes it seems as if you are the only one in your family who has!
Amidst the formation of holiday sweaters, you can easily feel as if your achievements (academic, professional, personal) are over-looked and you are thrust back into the role you were assigned or took in the family. That might not be a role you'd care to play for the rest of your life, dammit!
Think of that role as one of many tools you have at the ready in life. It has value and likely has benefited you out in the big world. But it by no means defines you. Is anyone ever going to n-o-t-i-c-e? As is so often the case, a lot of the answers are stowed-away inside you.
How can you chart new territory with family who persist in wanting to see you in a familiar, if outdated, frame? Fasten you seat-belts, please. Inserting new behavior ahead!
- Remember that you are loved for the 'you' they know best, wisecracks included.
- You are a force of nature and nobody's lack of appreciation can throw you off your trajectory. You can't be stopped by an air-lock of enthusiasm.
- Take a leap of faith and assume there are lessons still to be culled - a value added payoff of those 'frequent flier' miles.
Identify with something about each family member. It may call for an oxygen mask, but there is something to be gained from even the most annoying in-law or sibling on earth. Do not waste time comparing. Not your status, station, philosophies etc... None of it. Leave your self-defense mechanisms and arrogance on the sure-to-be whimsical doormat.
You may have sworn you'd be nothing like your folks. Or die trying, putting herculean effort in re-writing the past as an investment in the now and the later. See it through. Really check them out, now.
Try considering ourselves lucky that we have family to kick around (that might make it easier!) Won't it be a real hoot if someday, just someday, we find ourselves hilariously stunned to realize that we are of our people. That might not be a failure at take-off, but rather a smooth landing as we taxi in.
Above all, enjoy your holidays and look for a 2009 Year in Review, including glossary of all the ideas we've been practicing. Survey and we'll measure your own satisfaction in your growing 'conflict resolution confidence' and be part of the New Year's Conflict Resolution for 2010! That's exciting, so begin sharing some of your confidence today and firstname.lastname@example.org!