How to handle your extended family for the holidays

Navigating the rough waters of certain gatherings takes some planning.

In Health Works, it's almost time to gather together with extended family members, but navigating the rough waters of certain gatherings takes some planning.

We know everyone wants to love everyone in their family, but sometimes love doesn't always mean like. The number one rule this time of the year: be realistic.

There are people in your family you might find irritating.  Here's what you do: think about your hot button issues, maybe it's the job, the kids the spouse, and then be prepared with your response.

 Psychiatrist Howard Belkin gave some sound advice on exactly what to do in these sticky family situations.

Tip 1: Be prepared: "Be prepared for conversations. If we know someone is going to bring up a topic were not comfortable with, you need to have a response beforehand," he said.

Tip 2: Be clear with guests who are staying with you. "Most importantly have a plan for when they're coming and when they're leaving. Never keep it open ended."

Tip 3: If some holiday cheer is on the menu, be smart when it comes to how much booze you sip or serve. "Watch our alcohol intake.  The more you drink the greater the chances of saying something you don’t want to say."

Moral of the story: Be realistic, be prepared, be clear and be smart... And if all that fails, be patient and know that in a few days January is here and it's over. Until next year.


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