❌ 3 Ways to Avoid Drama + Sidestep Chaos This Holiday Season 🎁

❌ 3 Ways to Avoid Drama + Sidestep Chaos This Holiday Season 🎁

'Tis the time of the year for discounts, family feuds and... emotional breakdowns. It seems people look forward to the holidays only to realize when they are deep in the mix with decorating, friends and family that they struggle with boundaries, communication and of course tools to cope with stress and drama.

TRUST ME, I GET IT

 

I’ve witnessed my fair share of holiday blow ups between family members and I’ve even been involved in one that stands out around high school in which my younger sister threw a knife at me from across the table. Apparently I was looking at her funny. Maybe it was my perpetual RBF [ resting b*tch face as they say ] or maybe it was our years long symbiotic dysfunction at play during a time of year that can simultaneously bring out the BEST and WORST in everyone. I still remember how the holidays made my Mom kick into her nesting phase and suddenly the house was always cozier, smelled like cinnamon and apples and her attitude toward quality time seemed to shift. Why? TRIGGERS. Let me explain.

HOLIDAYS TRIGGER PEOPLE.

The smells, the songs and the memories - they tend to make even the most stable seeming adults start to act out of subconscious reflex. Most people don’t realize that their biggest triggers are subtle, under the radar and not at all tied to the big crescendo moments they believe messed them up. In 3,000+ clients, I can tell you with certainty that 99% thought their issues stemmed from a singular or big event that WASN’T EVEN CLOSE. We are primed to think it was the day someone left us or a death of a loved one or even a singular event that resulted in trauma. The truth is that our BIGGEST issues are created by the daily, repetitive, often mundane reactions we get as inputs to our brain. It is these repetitive inputs that hold the key to your mental and emotional freedom. 

 

Back to the Holiday season - most adults that have moved on from their childhood life, daily interactions with parents, etc still tend to get triggered around the holidays because their subconscious is brought back to most of these patterns in a heightened way by participating in or setting up Holiday events. It’s the planning, the purchasing, the baking, the light installation and of course coordinating family gatherings that pushes even the most “healed” person right back to their breaking point. So, for any of you out there who are already Break Method graduates and future students alike - I’m going to give you 3 keys for a successful and emotional relaxing Holiday Season.

 

3 STEPS TO A DRAMA + TEAR-FREE HOLIDAY SEASON

 

1. BE AWARE OF AND PROPERLY ARTICULATE YOUR BOUNDARIES.

Most Holiday drama ensues from perceiving that a boundary has been crossed. Perhaps you’re an adult now and “you don’t let people treat you like that anymore” - PLOT TWIST - no one in your family knows that. You’re around family and suddenly you become 12 again. No voice. No way to express yourself and you cave to anything and everything. You start to feel like a punching bag. Typically, this is going to activate one of two things: the pervasive feeling of injustice that makes you want to BLOW UP and tell everyone off OR shut down, disappear and keep internally stewing as you compliantly agree to your boundaries being demolished.
 
Here’s the solution: go back to what boundaries got crossed repetitively in childhood. What is the theme? Who were the culprits? How would they do it? Then do your best to take an educated guess about how those people will attempt to do the same thing this holiday season. Preparation is KEY here. We have to to remind ourselves here that this is part of their reflexive pattern and while it feels personal, unjust and immature, the reality is that it is not intentional and not actually an attack on us in any way. Once you’ve come up with how these boundaries tend to get crossed during Holidays, we equip ourselves with the proper communication structure to break the cycle. The fastest way to disrupt the cycle is to take radical personal responsibility for how you’ve engaged with them your entire life. Remember, this shouldn’t be positioned as “their fault” by taking responsibility for the way you diminished your boundary or reacted in the past. Then you acknowledge the way it’ll feel for them during the change and hold your ground.

Let’s say for example sake that your Mom volunteers you to take care of a million different things including airport pick ups without checking with you. This year, you go to Mom directly and say “Hey, usually during the Holidays I agree to do anything you put on my plate but I wanted to let you know in advance that this year the only thing I can commit to is [x]. I know it’s going to be a change and it’ll require you to recruit other people to help but it’s important to me and I really need you to respect my request. I love you and I’m grateful for your understanding.” [ Her eyebrows and other facial features might look 🤐 but you’ve just taken your first step to disrupt the cycle ]

 

2. TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR TRIGGERS.

Contrary to social media B.S., your triggers are not other people’s responsibility - they are yours. Society teaches us to tip toe around people when they should be teaching people to prioritize rewiring their triggers and illogical emotional responses. If you know your uncle’s voice tone fires you up because it feels like he’s talking down to you, ask yourself why you care? What is his actual intent? What do you personally gain by allowing yourself to get upset? Why are you allowing someone else’s unhealed emotional parts impact you in any way? Isn’t this just an issue with your uncle?

When we find ourselves in a situation to KNOW BETTER, we have to choose to DO BETTER. Part of moving from awareness to action is taking responsibility for the childhood part of ourselves that wants to take things personally and act out in retaliation rather than chuckle internally and say “wow, my uncle has a lot of work to do” and let it roll off your shoulders. To give another example, you know your parents talk to you in a disapproving way about your job or choice of intimate partner. Can you do your best to look at the deeper motivation? Generationally, some parents like to communicate and show love through criticism and guilt. Is their motivation actually genuine love and worry for you and it’s coming off like criticism? Can we speak to their motivation rather than their actual words? Let’s say they ask you a series of pointed critical questions about your career change. Can you answer them with “Mom and Dad - I know how much you love me and I know you worry. I appreciate that. I feel really good about my choice and even if it doesn’t make sense to you right now, just know I’m happy.” You’ve just given them what we in Break Method call a GREEN CONE. You spoke to their deeper, subconscious motive and Bruce Lee-d their B.S. right back to them. BONUS - you didn’t let yourself get riled up and emotional over something that ultimately has nothing to do with YOU and everything to do with THEM. Winning 
🏆

 

3. STAY OUT OF ASSUMPTIONS - THEY’LL GET YOU REACTING EMOTIONALLY A.S.A.P

Your brain operates almost exclusively in assumptions - especially when you’re around loved ones. The brain is constantly seeking to understand patterns of repetition to keep you safe. 
 
THAT PERSON IS GOING TO LET YOU DOWN. THEY’RE GOING TO JUDGE YOU. THEY THINK YOU’RE A LOSER. THEY WON’T FOLLOW THROUGH ON WHAT THEY SAID. THEY DON’T ACTUALLY MEAN WHAT THEY’RE SAYING…

I think you get the picture. As soon as you allow your brain to assume, you’ve already lost the emotional battle and jumped right on the hamsterwheel-of-doom. Every one of you has a pattern of assumption you play out in most scenarios. For me, it’s most definitely questioning people’s motives and preparing for people to not follow through. For many of you, it’ll be assuming judgment or blame or taking things personally that have nothing to do with you. 

For us to have a healthy + HEALED life, we have to actively dismantle our brain’s reflexive assumptions. These assumptions have created the very cycles we dread. This holiday season, use the ELI questions below to poke holes in your brain’s argument and allow things to unfold instead of engaging with them in a way that fulfills your worst prophecy. Your brain wants to assume, conclude and react in the blink of an eye. YOU, as a person seeking to be healed and whole, need to take a moment and question yourself and your motives and react out of long-term best interest based on ONLY present moment tangible evidence - NOT ASSUMPTIONS. 

 

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Happy Holidays from the entire Break Method Team!

Bizzie, Keri, Rachel, Josie, Aidan, Sierra and Tawny


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