Sharon Sayler

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Good day!  And a Terrific Tuesday to you!

Well, here we are again just a couple of days away from Thanksgiving.  Thank you for being part of my world.

Have you ever noticed that this time of year can bring out the best and the worst in us? Often our time to be grateful feels more like our nerves are grating….

Here are 3 of my favorite family survival tips – please share your tips in the comment section below!

Survival tip #1:  Be Proactive.

We all know that the proverbially Uncle Joe or Cousin Sue are going to do what they always do. So, why are you surprised each year when it happens again? Prepare ahead of time how you will react.

Just because you are asked a question, doesn’t mean you have to answer it.  Breathe deep. Smile and move on. You don’t have to defend anything.

If smile and move on feels a bit too firm right now, enlist a family member to distract you when they see Uncle Joe or Cousin Sue start to close in for the “kill.” Consider giving your ally a safety phrase such as “Marge, can you help pour the water?”

Speaking of water, drinking a glass of cool water or washing your hands in cool water, quickly cools off those negative responses, thoughts and feelings.

Survival tip #2: Know your NO. 

Life coach and friend Indrani from www.indranislight.org has a wonderful saying; “If you don’t know your No you will never know your Yes.”

Have courage and maintain boundaries.  Boundaries are about respecting yourself and others. When we set a boundary, we allow the relationship to stay in a good place. If others encroach on our boundaries or we have not set any, we often feel taken advantage of, which in turn, results in resentments.

Respect others boundaries as well. If you don’t know what to say, be sure and avoid sensitive topics. Instead of “Have you found a job yet?” Ask “Catch me up on what’s happening?” If we speak only with positive intention, it helps keep the whole mood positive. Emotions are contagious — positive and negative.

(Indrani joined me on Beyond Lip Service Radio today listen into my interview on the topic of Getting from “I’m not enough.” Indrani shares great tips on boundaries and other ways to move past negative talk.)

Survival tip #3: Use the GoBoD rule.

Two of the “favorite expectations” I hear in my coaching practice are “They should have known” and “It has to be perfect.”

When I hear “they should have known” my immediate response is “Why should they have known?” I have a friend who until recently didn’t know the difference between fudge and brownies, maybe you don’t either… it doesn’t matter. Yet, being a long time brownie fan and not so much fudge fan, I was surprised! In my world, they should have known – right? Why should they have known? It wasn’t part of the culture they grew up in. With fudge and brownies, it doesn’t matter what I expected or preferred as it makes no difference, yet sometimes it does make a difference.

We often expect others to be just like us or mind readers.  I have met some people like me, but none just like me and I’ve never met a honest-to-goodness mind-reader so the odds are not too good “they should have known” and did something to upset me on purpose .

This is where I call in the oldé GoBoD rule: Give others the Benefit of Doubt. Giving someone the Benefit of Doubt saves a lot of shoulding all over yourself and if the person continues after they know, reconsider if you want them in your life anyway.

As to the other common expectation, “It has to be perfect,” or some variation thereof, let’s get real, perfect doesn’t exist.  When “it wasn’t perfect” or “it has to be perfect” is your war cry, step back and know that your “good enough” is most likely everybody else’s perfect.

Perfect is about control. We all know we can’t control what happens, the control we have is in how we chose to respond to what happened. Disappointment happens when our expectations of the “fairy-tale” and the event don’t match up.  Learn to make your expectations preferences and life will be much smoother. Things go much easier when we “prefer” something goes a particular way versus we “expect” something a particular way.

I have a sign on my porch that says, “Martha doesn’t live here and that’s a good thing.” It always brings a smile to those in the know….

Have a wonder-filled rest of your week whatever your adventures
To Success! To life!
Sharon

p.s. Wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving here in the States. And all of you, here and around the world, joy and abundance always. I am especially thankful and abundant this year as my coaching business has  grown and prospered.   I am honored you are part of my community and I am able to share and work with so many of you to reach your goals, bring your passions out and create the life our your dreams — that is what makes this the best job!

I’m taking the rest of this week off to spend Thanksgiving with my family and will be back in touch next week.

 

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2 comments on “Family Survival Tips for Thanksgiving
  1. Sharon,
    Great tips, especially the one about “give the other person the benefit of the doubt”. I would also add that when we do that we stop taking things personally and it makes the world go around so much smoother :).

    Monique

    • Thanks Monique, yes we often forget it’s not just about us….. I know in your work you help people to understand the stories we tell our self and set new ones.

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