While you might love your family completely, that doesn’t mean they can’t make you feel stressed much of the time. With such close family ties, you not only know about the other’s good qualities, but you are also going to see many of their not so good qualities on occasion. Since many people can have troubles when seeing their families and navigating the minefields of expectations and differences, it’s no wonder people can feel stressed even before they walk into a family member’s door.
Find the Source of the Stress
The key to handling family stress is to find the source of your feelings. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re looking for someone to blame, but it does mean that you might look for when you feel the most stressed. Is it during the holidays? Is it when someone talks about a particular topic? Try to write down any and all feelings about stress after you experience. This way, you can begin to see what is happening to you and how you might be able to manage it.
Talk The Stress Out
Of course, the family stress is generally linked with one person or a few people. To manage your stress, you will need to talk to these people about how you feel, how you need them to change, and how you might change in order to help the situation. True, this might not be a comfortable conversation, but it is one which needs to be had. After all, disagreements can not be resolved if no one talks about what they are feeling. Spend some time with this family member away from everyone else, so that you can speak freely of your feelings and figure things out without the whole family getting involved.
Agreeing to Disagree to Mitigate Stress
At times, however, you may find you can not resolve a situation with a family member. They may simply not share the same ideas and values as you might, causing a rift which is difficult to close. Instead of worrying about how they should change or how you should change, it might be a situation in which you simply agree to disagree. Come to some sort of true which allows you both the chance to not only enjoy each other’s company, but also to avoid the problems which may have set off the stress in the beginning.
Stress may always be a part of the family experience, as the desire to be one’s self and to please the family are often at odds. By taking the time to acknowledge your stress, to talk about it, and to find ways to resolve it, you can not only begin to look forward to times with your family, but you can leave these gatherings feeling peaceful.