What Your Psychotherapist Wont Tell You About Family Stress | Reader's Digest

What Your Psychotherapist Won’t Tell You About Family Stress

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.

from From Forbidden Advice (Reader's Digest Association Books)

Family Therapy© iStockphoto/Thinkstock
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?
  • Your Comments

    • Zaid Hakim

      thats most absurd !! when you do these things they(ppl) tend to become more provocative and pushy and pokey and what not

      • Lynne

        I have to agree with Zaid. Here in the real world those kind of people confuse kindness with weakness. Avoid them. It works for me.