The Thanksgiving hoopla is hours away. So, what to do when you really just want to turkey-drop your relatives? Are you tired of playing cop or walking on eggshells? Then, let’s find out how to contend with three common caregiver triggers.
Of course, when dealing with Un-cope-able Parents, this is a small list compared to everything that makes you crazy! I get it.
- Ceaseless dominating of conversations so they become ‘all about me’;
- Invading your boundaries by imposing unsolicited opinions and unwanted questions;
- Running roughshod over others’ feelings while being ultra-prickly when you ‘go’ where they don’t want.
Strategy #1 – Energetic Techniques
Have you ever wondered what’s really going on under the surface of ceaseless glory-day stories that get exaggerated with too much tryptophan and/or alcohol? Bottom-line, these long tales may be all your elders feel they have left of the more vital and independent person they once were. Though you feel forced to submit to the same boredom for the millionth time, imagine donning invisible ear muffs to tune out the droning.
Strategy #2 – QTIP
Another great energetic technique is to picture an invisible egg shell around your body – like a giant soap bubble you can fill with your favorite colors. Coat it with a silver reflective surface like a mirror. The purpose is to deflect unwelcome barbs unconscious aging parents or relatives try to throw your way. Here, QTIP is an acronym standing for Quit Taking It Personally. Their ‘naughty’ behaviors are not about you – much as it would seem that way!
Strategy #3 – Feel All Your Feelings
Transparent as I am, I share this enduring strategy from my first therapist. Yes, I needed 10 years with two professionals to process my trauma growing up with an alcoholic father and paranoid schizophrenic mother. Benefit from my lessons. It is nothing short of critical for you to release pent-up emotions that will have accumulated from you clamping down on everything you wanted to say these next few days – no matter how effective my suggested techniques.
Debriefing Thanksgiving & Preparing for December
If all else fails, laughter is the best medicine. Seriously, I strongly urge you to recover from Thanksgiving by devoting attention to a few nourishing pursuits once this frenetic November period is over.
Stand by for some intentional ways to craft next month.
In the meantime, you may want to look into my Pissed-Off Journal as a great gift to help you record, release and reframe trying events like family holidays. It’s available at https://www.copingwithuncopeableparents.com/shop/