The Thanksgiving holiday is traditionally when we celebrate all that we’re thankful for. It’s also a holiday often spent with family members.
But what if certain family members leave us feeling anything but thankful? We don’t have to let difficult family members get in the way of an enjoyable Thanksgiving holiday.
After all, every challenging relationship is an opportunity to learn something about ourselves and to grow. It might be the need to communicate better, to set boundaries, or simply to show gratitude so we can feel grateful. We don’t have to leave our feelings to chance. We can act first in order to feel.
Below are 7 actions we can take to feel grateful for difficult family members this Thanksgiving:
- Listen intently to what they have to say to see where they’re coming from. Refrain from thinking of a rebuttal in the meantime.
- Point out something you admire about them and offer a genuine compliment.
- Recognize they are doing the best they can. When you do, it’s often easier to let go of anger and resentment.
- Share a specific example of something they did for you and how it made a difference for you.
- Do something small but thoughtful for them.
- Give them a gift you think they would appreciate or enjoy.
- If you’re having a “Friendsgiving” with close friends instead of difficult family members, be thankful for that opportunity.
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