Maintaining Boundaries at Family Get togethers
We may dress to the nines and head out to family gatherings but we are all united in the dread that we experience in some deep, dark corner of beings when we anticipate meeting a relative – or worse, plural. It is not because we are bad people or lack affection. It is because the breach of boundaries we do not even realize it is happening per millisecond we spend in their presence. Perhaps it is because family seems to take upon itself the exclusive privilege of tearing people apart without remorse, be it love life, employment, important life milestones, health, or physical form. However it is time we take back our boundaries and self-esteem.
Defining clear boundaries, as any relationship counselor/article worth their salt will tell you, is most essential when it comes to maintaining relationships that are not taxing, but affectionate, as relationships have the initial aim to be. Let us take a look at how these popularly encouraged boundaries can actually be set into place.
Be an Example
One person we might not point fingers at is ourselves. Whether it is a teenager we keep pestering about their GPAs, or an aunt whose love life we find deliciously scandalous, we may begin by setting out the tone for the questions that we are asked. It is undeniably saucy, as the cool kids will call it, to know all the gruesome details about somebody’s skeletons, but will we want it travelling the room and coming back to us? Which is why we should start out by limiting questions we ask to topics we know people will be comfortable talking about – and hope the favor will eventually be returned to us.
Keep the Positivity Running
A common but cheap tactic we find ourselves employing in uneasy social gatherings is exclaiming your misfortune when the narrative turns to negative self-talk. We may bring up our troubles and woes, casual or pertinent, to gel in with people and earn easy empathy points. After all, it is so much easier to spend the evening with someone when all you have to do is empathize with their low points in life and have them validate yours. This needs to change – lead with a positive narrative. Counter conversations going down the self-deprecation or self-pity lane with silver linings. Not only will it set out a reflexive response system in your mind to counter negativity with optimism, but also it will make people wary of dumping their burdens on you for validation.
Let us be honest and accept the times we have prepared ourselves for family gatherings by making a list of topics and statements never to make. I do not blame you, it is a safety measure. You avoid the unnecessary, unwelcomed judgment and your family remembers you by the socially acceptable qualities you choose to show. As bold as this boundary may seem, it is an important one to draw. Go all out and be yourself so that your family knows what they have got on their hands. The reason why family gatherings drain us is because we are constantly maintaining a censored, edited version of ourselves that is trying to appease to everyone, which never works. Next time at a family gathering, to whatever extent, try showing your authentic self to the people you interact with – either you will be let go off family obligations or you will score a modicum of acceptance.
The first step to healthy and happy family gatherings is accepting that boundaries are essential, and family is no exception to that rule.
*This post was a purchased post from a ghost writer on Fiverr
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