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Setting Family Boundaries During the Holidays

family holiday season

How to set those boundaries this holiday season

Setting boundaries is a hard enough task as it is. But setting boundaries with family you’ve known for years can be a tough situation to navigate. We want to provide you with tips to guide you through the holiday season without allowing others to overstep boundaries that are comfortable to you. 

Define Your Boundaries

The first step to asserting your boundaries is to map out exactly what you want your boundaries to be and why they are important to you. It may be that you can only stay at a family event for two hours due to other obligations or it may be that you feel physically uncomfortable around a certain group of family members. Whatever the case may be, the first step to asserting your boundaries is to understand them yourself.

Start With Family You Trust

We naturally trust some family members more than others. Assert these boundaries with a member of your family that you know will respect them. This may be a good time to express concerns regarding your boundaries and why you feel they need to be in place. It can also be good to start practicing boundary settings with your friends. The earlier you can start practicing setting these boundaries, the easier it will be when the real deal comes around.

 Remain Firm

It is going to be jarring for your family when you suddenly assert these new boundaries but that doesn’t mean you are in the wrong. You have a right to feel safe and secure by asserting your boundaries. NEVER let anyone guilt trip you into letting your boundary lines move. Stay firm in your boundaries –  you established them for a reason.

It Is Always Okay to Walk Away

Sometimes no matter how hard you try to maintain these healthy boundaries with family, they seem to never respect them. It is okay to remove yourself from an uncomfortable situation. It may be awkward, you may get angry relatives trying to contact you, and it may even hurt that they couldn’t respect your boundaries. But by leaving you show them that you are not willing to budge on your boundaries and if they want you around then they need to learn to respect that.

The holidays are stressful enough. Don’t worry too much and imagine a worst case scenario. Chances are your new boundaries will be respected after you implement them! Stay firm and know you are doing the right thing for yourself and your happiness. Happy Holidays!

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