Healthy Boundaries: The Holiday Edition

Healthy Boundaries: The Holiday Edition

Healthy Boundaries: The Holiday Edition

Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby is the founder and clinical director of Growing Self Counseling and Coaching. She’s the author of “Exaholics: Breaking Your Addiction to Your Ex Love,” and the host of The Love, Happiness & Success Podcast.

Healthy Boundaries = Happy Holidays

So many wonderful things are possible during the holidays: Quiet time to expand our souls, the chance to embrace generosity and good will, opportunities to enjoy the warmth of our families and friends, and be grateful for the wonderful relationships in our lives.

But many people suffer through this season, becoming increasingly frazzled, resentful, and hurt with every new disappointing interaction, extra commitment, and unrealistic expectation put on them. (And often, feeling most hurt and put-upon by the people who should love them the best). I’ve been a marriage and family therapist for a loooong time now, and there is one thing I consistently see in people who do NOT have a good time over the holidays: Bad boundaries.

When Boundaries Are a Problem Over The Holidays

  • When Boundaries Are Too Soft: When people are too passive and don’t speak up about their needs and feelings, they often wind up feeling put-upon, mistreated or disrespected by family members, children, friends or partners, and resentments brew. 
  • When Boundaries Are Too Hard: When people are too rigid and inflexible with their boundaries, they often feel tense, stressed out, and irritable by all the assaults to their preferences that this season can fling. Furthermore, friends and family members may feel put-upon, mistreated or disrespected by them — and it creates unnecessary conflict.
  • When Boundaries Are Not Considered: When people aren’t self-aware and clear about their own limits and struggle to hold healthy boundaries with themselves, they overcommit time and energy, have unrealistic expectations of themselves, over-indulge in unhealthy ways, and are prone to overspending. This leaving them feeling stressed out, overwhelmed, exhausted, and emotionally and financially depleted by the time New Year’s rolls around. Not fun at all.

Because these kinds of boundary problems are so common (and so darn avoidable, with advance planning) I thought I’d put together some holiday-specific boundary advice for you.

Listen, and learn specific, actionable tips and tools that you can use to set healthy limits with your self and others, and also be selectively flexible.

I sincerely hope that it helps you stay in a good place over the next month, and enhance all the wonderful moments that this season has to offer.

All the best to YOU this holiday season…

Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby

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Healthy Boundaries: The Holiday Edition

by Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby | Love, Happiness & Success

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How to Handle Your Crazy Family on Thanksgiving

How to Handle Your Crazy Family on Thanksgiving

How to Handle Your Crazy Family on Thanksgiving

Our very own Life Coach, Therapist, and Marriage Counselor Jessica Small joined Lois Melkonian at the Denver Fox 31 studio to talk about possible Thanksgiving Day pitfalls, and how to handle them with style and grace.

Some of the questions that Jessica answered:

“How do you handle guests that talk too much?”

“How do you support a family member going through a ‘Turkey Dump?'”

“How do you avoid becoming an over controlling “Marney” if you’re hosting Thanksgiving?”

Watch Jessica’s great advice now:

And here’s a link to Lois Melkonian’s wonderful article “Think Your Thanksgiving is Crazy?” on her blog Living Through It. Lois tackles a new topic every Monday morning at 8:45am on her Living Through It segment on Denver’s Fox 31 — be sure to watch.

Lastly, if you are not already familiar with Marney’s infamous Thanksgiving Day Letter, here’s a link.

While you’re there, I’d highly recommend browsing around Awkward Family Photos — one of the funniest websites ever. Trust me, you’ll feel a tiny bit better about your own family if you do. (Unless of course, doing so triggers memories of the family portrait featuring your family in front of the “covered bridge” backdrop with the wagon wheel in front, your mom holding the terrified cat, and your sister sneaking her My Little Pony over your dad’s shoulder… but maybe that’s just me.)

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!! Lisa