Mind & life

Out of bounds. Also, “Is it OK to date my friend’s ex? They broke up six months ago.”

Glamour (South Africa) - - Glamour 2017 March -

1 Be kind and de­cline Fam­ily gather­ings are a great time for tra­di­tions. But maybe you’re not up for host­ing your an­nual re­union or bring­ing your sig­na­ture pie to din­ner this year. The best way to break the news is to con­vey your will­ing­ness to pitch in an­other way, says psy­chol­o­gist Dr Shawn Burn. Try, “I know I’ve al­ways done X, but I hope you’ll un­der­stand it’s too much for me. Can I do Y in­stead?”

2 Change the sub­ject “For the sake of har­mony, save any heavy dis­cus­sions for an­other time,” says psy­chol­o­gist Dr Chris­tine Carter. So if some­one brings up a con­tentious topic, ac­knowl­edge their feel­ings, then quickly move on. Say, “Thanks for the con­cern. Any­way, what are your New Year’s plans?” for ex­am­ple. “Chang­ing the sub­ject makes it easy for peo­ple to re­spect your bound­aries,” says Dr Carter.

3 Own your de­ci­sions “Re­mem­ber that you don’t have to have din­ner with a rel­a­tive you don’t get along with. You choose to,” says Dr Carter. Re­fram­ing your de­ci­sion that way re­minds you that you’re in con­trol – and can help you fig­ure out which com­pro­mises are right for you. Think, ‘I choose to go be­cause I want to see other fam­ily’. And if you truly can’t come up with a rea­son, it might be time to nix the ac­tiv­ity.

Char­lie (Jen­nifer Lopez) and Vi­ola Fields (Jane Fonda) in Mon­ster-in-law.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.