~ Expectations... Be Careful They Impact Our Lives

8th January 2020

Christmas is promoted as a joyous occasion, bringing families and friends together to celebrate and for many this is true. Unfortunately there is often a shadow side to the light that is Christmas. That shadow side may be christened “our expectations”.

So what are our expectations for the Xmas break?

You may relate to the following?

“Really looking forward to seeing brother, sisters, parents; children; aunts; uncle; in-laws; friends etc. We have or someone else has organised get-togethers; parties; events. We might even be travelling overseas to celebrate in a different country. It sounds simply wonderful and hopefully it is.

Unfortunately though, we do not always see eye to eye with our families and those we are close to. During the year past we may have had disagreements that have not been truly resolved. We may also not be in tune to different parenting styles to that of our own. We may find aunt so and so a complete ass…but hey its Christmas so all will be wonderful and we wont allow dissention to rear its ugly head. Well we will certainly try.”

Although sounding like the proverbial Grinch it might be useful to pay some attention to those expectations, so that if an unpleasant situation/ incident arises, you might be better prepared to handle it. If in the past certain family members have behaved badly – it is worth remembering, so it isn’t a shock if it happens again. Past transgressions may be brought up, children may act up and their parents not sort it as you would. Accepting and being aware that some of these or similar may occur will be handled much better if you don’t have unrealistic expectations. So how can we avoid some of the downside of too much joy :) You could try the following:

Children acting up, not yours of course :)) Rather than comment, use diversion tactics. Not working? If possible leave the scene. Still not working? By this time you are exhausted so just grin and bear it!
Conflict- this is difficult. Try humour. If no luck and becomes further heated then ask what you can do to ease the situation. If said with sincerity it may do the trick. If this fails, then if possible simply leave the scene for a while.
As the saying goes, “don’t sweat the small stuff, and mostly it is all small stuff”.

Have a wonderful break.

Alex Roberts