How to Deal with Difficult Relatives

By Psychologist Mamta Saha

Dear readers, do you dread your family gatherings because you have to spend time with your uncle who makes offensive jokes or meet your sister-in-law who won’t stop asking when you will have kids? The bad news is, you can’t get rid of these people completely, but the good news is, you can learn to deal with difficult people and protect your energy and peace. So here are a few things to keep in mind.

Don’t try to fix the difficult person

It can be tempting to try to help someone you want to care about. Accept them exactly as they are. Difficult family members are infamous for their inability to self-reflect and admit when they’re wrong. It’s important to soften your expectations about what others can and want to do, this way you won’t be disappointed or hurt.

Can I find compassion in my heart for this person, just like I need myself?

Difficult people are not born that way, they become that way due to a combination of nature and nurture. A difficult relative will always want a reaction. Even though it can be really hard, try to understand their perspective. Don’t take it personally. Their negativity is not a representation of you and your life, it’s a representation of theirs.

What do I need right now in this situation?

Another technique that you can use to deal with a difficult family member is to excuse yourself as soon as the interaction gets too intense. Take a few moments to breathe and centre yourself. Remember, your own well-being comes first. Visualize your boundaries, that protective territory between you and the other person. No one is entitled to occupy your space unless you let them.

Dealing with a difficult family member can be extremely stressful and hard to handle emotionally. This can be even more dreadful during the holidays. Seeking support is the best way to navigate through difficult family relationships.

Join me for a FREE 60-minute masterclass packed with practical tools and techniques on how to handle toxic family members, set boundaries, practise self-care, and have stress free family holidays. Email me at mamta@mamtasaha.com to book your spot. Follow me on Instagram (saha_mamta) and Facebook (Mamta Saha) for more details about my masterclass.
Stay in touch and I look forward to hearing from you! Good luck dearest readers.

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