As the holiday season grows closer, so do our worries about getting along with our extended family, and therefore you probably spend a lot of time looking for ways to make peace with your family. Coming from a family that is some weird hybrid of the Corleone family of The Godfather (without the violence) and the Pritchett clan of Modern Family, I’ve spent a lot of my adult life trying to find peace somewhere in there. It hasn’t been easy, but when I finally achieved some level of peace, it was more than worth it! These ways to make peace with your family will definitely come in handy during this holiday season!
1. Create a Goal for Yourself
If you really hate how certain members of your family bring out the worst in you, turn it into an opportunity to work on yourself. Set a goal for yourself to become more compassionate, patient, or understanding, and use the moments when your family really gets on your nerves to hone the characteristic you’re working on! It’s definitely not one of the easiest ways to make peace with your family, but it will be one of the most beneficial!
2. “Mute” Them from Your Life
If you really can’t stand members of your family, mute them from your social media networks. If they don’t live near you and you don’t have to see them often, social media is probably one of the only ways you really see them a lot of the time. Rather than subject yourself to someone you hate on a regular basis, silence them from your social media. Just by quieting those negative presences in your life, you’ll instantly start to feel more positive and peaceful!
3. Take What They Say and Appreciate It
We’ve all had those moments where extended family members ask you questions that are too personal. The next time someone asks you why you aren’t dating, married, or with child, put a positive spin on it. Be thankful for your independence, for a career you love, friends you love, and all of the other wonderful aspects of your life!
4. Grow Close to the People You like
Thankfully, families offer a wide array of personalities, so there’s a pretty good chance that there’s someone in your extended family that you like. Try to grow a closer relationship with the people in your family that you love spending time around. It will make it exponentially easier to have a few allies at your next family reunion!
5. Find Common Ground
For me, a turning point in my relationship with my extended family happened when my baby brother was born last year. (Yes, I am a grown adult with an infant sibling; it’s a long story.) Because we all had this common person we loved, we instantly got along better as a result. Obviously the solution isn’t always reproducing, but finding something that forces you all to get along a little better definitely is!
6. Talk to Your Friends
Everyone has horror stories about their families. The more open you are about your own funnily horrible stories regarding your family, you’ll be surprised at how cathartic it is. You'll also see how much your friends can relate to you. I was recently telling my friend in a class about my aforementioned baby brother, only to find out that she had a baby brother too. You’d be surprised at the common ground you may have with your friends over your crazy family!
7. Want Peace
At the end of the day, you have to want peace. You can’t want to get along with your family, only to pick fights with them whenever you get the chance. Both parties need to want to find peace, or at the very least, one of you needs to want peace, to really achieve peace in a chaotic family.
What are your tips for dealing with a chaotic family? Tell your stories and help each other out in the comments!