You can deal with stressful family situations without seeing a shrink. How do you show grace under pressure? California psychotherapist Tina B. Tessina offers these insider’s techniques:
- Put it in perspective. Will what they’re saying or doing be important in an hour or two? A day from now? Most won’t.
- Rise above it. Next time you are totally fed up with your mother, remind yourself of all of the tough times she has experienced.
- Cut yourself a break. If your mother upsets you by bringing up that failed first marriage again, don’t beat yourself up for getting tense about it. Your reaction is normal. It’s what you do about it that counts.
- Take a time-out. If you can’t send your uncle Richie to time-out when he’s had one vodka martini too many, at least you can send yourself there. Take a walk or go shopping.
- Keep your mouth shut. One of the most powerful tools you have is silence. Use it!
- Pretend they don’t belong to you. If your in-laws are obnoxious, pretend they’re your friend’s parents. You wouldn’t snap and say something you’d regret to your friend’s parents, would you?