Making Peace with Your Family

Beliefnet presents eleven tips on how to make peace and get along with your family during the holidays.


12/26/2009 10:51:17 AM

THis article was so right on time for me because I often feel like my family does not like me. I never try and make it seem as if I am better than them. I always make a conscience effort to be me. I am very down-to-earth and understanding. I was speaking to one of of my friends parents and she told me it's from a lack of education on their behalf.She said studies have proven that when you've been formally educated you automatically exceed to a different status and have different views on life, whereas theirs remains the same which then causes conflict because they don't simply understand that you are now on a different mental level. I just wish my family will accept me for who I am. I love them, but a lot of them time I feel that my love is unrequited. I guess I will have to love from a distance for now, and continue to surround myself around other positive thinkers and continue my journey to the top.


12/14/2009 10:07:11 AM

I was shocked to see so many people comment on having trouble with their families. I have to say that I relate to many of you. I am definitely an outsider. I am and have been dating someone my family does not approve of for many years. It is hard to connect with people who do not approve of the way you are living. All I have to say, is that the advice above is helpful, and hopfully some of you will find it to work. God Bless you all and have a wonderful holidays!


11/24/2009 07:48:45 AM

I can identify with your pain. I myself have been castout for not going to the extreme and not celebrating Christmas in the material manner. I have always been low keyed about holidays but my ex spouse wanted to go overboard. We were never able to compromise. I am much happier now that I'm divorced and don't have to deal with a toxic relationship. God bless. Carlos


02/13/2009 01:07:57 PM

I certainly know the feeling and pain of being left out when the holidays come around. I was cancelled for Christmas this year! It seems that I am not good enough in their minds to be with the other relatives. My daughter knew about this situation 3 days ahead and didn't let me know.I called her about 2 pm to wish her a merry Christmas and I started to cry so I hung up and lo and behold I received a nasty email from her. I then wrote back that I can no longer live with this pain. I gave the xmas gifts I had bought to other people


12/24/2008 12:44:33 PM

This article is helpful IF you have relatives that will allow you into their presence. Mine will not. I am aware of how lonely and sad the Holidays can be. The trouble I have is that my mom's side are supposedly all Mennonites and very judgmental. I am a southern CA gal who attends a non-denominational church regularly. The judgmental relatives insist I need to find relationships within my local church. The local church consists of many people, but the people who do the fellowship events are all married. I am divorced. It is weird for me as the church-folk wonder why I don't have family and the "family" wonders why I am not connecting with "church-people". My former therapist advised me to find my own "tribe". I always get invited to Holiday dinners over my "alcoholic" friends' families. What's up with this? Anyway, I still believe in Christmas and Jesus' birthday celebrating this time of year, but there sure are a lot of mixed messages in this world. Love, Neptuness


12/18/2008 10:37:10 AM

It is always difficult to be with all of my family. Everyone always pretends to get along with everybody; but there are a lot of hurt feelings. This year is especially hard because I have been going through a terrible depressive episode and I am trying to get through it with professional help; but I don't know how my family will be reacting towards me. I am going to do my best and pray a lot before attending. I can only control how I respond to them. I have learned new skills to deal with all of my problems and other people. Also my daughter and daughter-in-law will be together for the first time in about a year. I pray and hope that they will get along OK. I will not stay long if things escalate into a traumatic event.


11/29/2008 11:08:24 PM

It's always a challenge to try to remain in a relationship with family members who don't treat each other with mutual respect. At some point one must decide whether or not it is unhealthy to remain connected. There does come a moment in some relationships where one must realize that any connection would be extremely harmful. This article does not address these types or relationships, but offers some very good practical suggestions for relationships that have a minimum of mutual respect and love. I would appreciate advice on how to go on with one's life without one's immediate family relationships.


11/28/2008 02:45:40 PM

It has been my findings through experiences, the one certain way to not be out of sorts with family, or anyone, because of their words and actions is to recognize the truth or lie of the phrases being used. When we know something is true it should not hurt us, if we know it is untrue it should not hurt us. Remember the sayings I have heard since being a small child: "sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me. "Call me anything just call me in time to eat". The thing to help concerning their actions is recognize that attribute is also one you have integrated into your parent personality so it does not control your actions as it does their's. We can not be "in the likeness of the anointed one", Christian, if we have not integrated every attribute known to man into our parent personality. In order to obtain the "dominion abilities" (John 14:12) we have to have recognized every attribute known to man in us and integrated them. Until then, we are far from being "Christian".


11/27/2008 01:18:32 PM

For all of my love, care, compassion, forgiveness, understanding, patience and desire to be with family members who are in all kinds of emotional, spiritual, and physical distress...and all of the benefit I've received from counselling...I am unable to communicate to "my people" anything that helps them to feel better about anything! So, no matter what I say or do to show love and compassion, etc., and despite the suggestions of this article, so far, nothing has worked or helped in the least. It's frustrating and quite painful to me because people outside of my family circle and I do just fine, and the mutual respect, love, caring, etc., is welcome AND reciprocated easily. I attend family gatherings with the thought in mind of enjoying each other as much as possible and I know in my heart I do whatever I can to promote love and the sense of family unity.


11/27/2008 07:52:16 AM

I know that sometimes its easier to deal without people,then with my family. I just tried to let them back into my life and it never fails that always are starting drama and they act like that i should be ok with that...I just go away keeping them out of my world,but i still miss them and want them to be a part of my life. they are always saying mean and hurtful things and even in the bible its does say stay away from the wicked...then i tried to remember what Joseph brothers did to him and even for a minute he had hate in his heart for his hard but I know i have a choice and I refuse to allow them to take my joy...What about we did to Jesus Christ? he had to deal with much more than us! He loved us anyway...Know that you only have deal with for holidays or family events and go in prayed up or run to bathroom and pray. Thats what works but its not easy and its seems they move on the next person at the table....we can do this...and we have to pray for them because they are truly lost...


11/26/2008 01:03:50 PM

I only wish I could use some of these suggestions this holiday season but after standing resolute in my integrity, my own family asked me NOT to come for our regular annual events since I would not 'bend' to the will of my father. This of course also included my two children, so we are now 'ex-communicated' from my family for reasons that I still cannot fathom. What ever happened to unconditional love within a family? The pain in my heart will never cease and I will never understand as long as I live and breathe.


11/26/2008 12:04:38 PM

Thank you for these lovely and helpful words of advice during what is a rough period for many people. I have issues with my family- especially my parents, which have estranged me from them. Your advice to overlook past hurts and move on with compassion and forgiveness is my goal but is very difficult to do. I will do my best to work on this this holiday season, especially because my parents are old and may not be around that much longer to share my love with . Thanks again...


11/26/2008 08:25:32 AM