Setting Boundaries with Difficult Family Members This Holiday Season
Difficult family members. We all have them. You know the ones I'm talking about. The ones who suck the life out of you, who are never happy, and who always have something negative to say. The ones whose presence makes you dread family gatherings. The holidays are fast approaching, and while you may be looking forward to some quality time with your loved ones, you may also be dreading having to see these toxic people. 

So what do you do? Do you invite them and hope for the best? Do you not invite them and deal with the fallout later? Is it possible to set boundaries with difficult family members? The answer is yes, it is possible—and necessary—to set boundaries with these people. Here's how:
Step 1: Recognize that you have a problem
The first step in setting boundaries with difficult family members is recognizing that you have a problem. This may seem obvious, but it's important to acknowledge that these people are toxic and that their presence in your life is negatively affecting your mental and emotional health. If you're constantly dreading family gatherings because you know you'll have to see certain people, that's a sign that something needs to change. 

Step 2: Communicate your feelings to your loved ones 
Once you've recognized that there's a problem, it's time to communicate your feelings to your loved ones. This can be a difficult conversation to have, but it's important that your loved ones are aware of how these toxic people make you feel. They may not be aware of the fact that their presence stresses you out or makes you sick. By communicating your feelings, you can let them know that you need their support in setting boundaries with these people. 

Step 3: Set boundaries 
The third and final step is to set boundaries with these difficult family members. This may mean setting a limit on the amount of time you spend with them or establishing physical boundaries (like not sitting next to them at dinner). It might also mean being more assertive in conversations or flat-out saying "no" when they ask for favors. Whatever boundary-setting looks like for you, the most important thing is that it gives you some much-needed space from these toxic people. 

Family gatherings during the holidays can be enjoyable—or they can be downright stressful if you have difficult family members who tend to bring out the worst in everyone. If you're dealing with toxic people in your life, it's important to set boundaries so that they don't ruin your holiday season. By following the three steps above, you can begin to take back control of your holiday gatherings—and your life!

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