How To Survive Thanksgiving Tantrums and Torment With Your Crazy Family!

Happy_thanksgiving_funny-7Thanksgiving is less than a few days away and you’re planning a traditional holiday dinner, which includes a golden turkey as the showpiece of the meal. Although the Mercy for Animals Foundation conducted an undercover investigation on the abuse these birds are subjected to – it is NOTHING compared to the amount of stress and anxiety family members endure so they might spend quality time together. I think we need to start a Mercy for Family Members Foundation…

For many, the biggest source of holiday stress is family, so what causes some of this stress?

Unhappy memories. Going home for the holidays naturally makes people remember old times, but for you the memories may be more bitter than sweet. During the holidays, a lot of childhood memories come back and if the memories were not happy ones, this time of year will trigger them.

Toxic relatives and Outlaws. Holidays can put you in the same room with relatives you avoid the rest of the year.

What’s changed. The holidays can highlight everything that’s changed in your lives — a divorce, a death in the family, a son who’s making his first trip back home after starting college. Any of these can really unsettle a gathering and add holiday stress.

What’s stayed the same. For others, it’s the monotonous sameness of family holiday gatherings that depresses them — the same faces, the same jokes, the same food on the same china plates.

More work to be done. During the holiday season, you’re more likely to be stressed out by obligations and errands.

SO, as you begin to mentally prepared yourself for your annual Thanksgiving visit, you might be anticipating some predictable scenes: the Aunt that drinks 5 too many glasses of Merlot? Uncle that wants to summarize the last 6 months of Roy Orbison’s show? Or parents that ask ‘When are you going to settle down and get married?’” On their own, these are all very manageable stressors. Together, though, they create a perfect storm of family-based madness.

If you find yourself in the middle of dueling culinary aunts who constantly criticize each other’s cooking while snidely remarking on all of the dishes or political arguments by opinionated relatives whose lack of facts would be hilarious except for the constant threat of violence and tension: RELAX in the knowledge that you are most certainly not the only person in the world with dysfunctional relatives. If you are lucky, and can find a trusted sibling, cousin or spouse to share your amazement or disgust, then a simple declaration to validate your experience can be a relief. It’s important to keep realistic expectations. Dinner with your family is unlikely to be a magical Dickens-esque Christmas with the Cratchits, but it’s also unlikely to devolve into a National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation-like scene of madness (complete with boxed cats, squirrels in trees, and a turkey that deflates with the first cut). If you keep your expectations reasonable, understanding that the day will neither be your worst or best case scenarios, you’ll find yourself prepared to face this encounter with your family.

However, if you find yourself thinking “Am I the only one who feels like there is something seriously wrong with these folks?” then read these tips.

1. Line up some co-conspirators. Chances are you’re not the only one who is irked by your family’s dysfunctional routines. Figure out who you can call on to help make things different. Then do some pre-event strategizing. Agree a game plan with a crew and infiltrate madness before it arrives

2. Ask your co-conspirators to think of brilliant ways to give challenging relatives an assignment: Is someone always critical of the menu? Ask this person if she would please bring that complicated dish that is her trademark so she’ll have a place to shine. Is there a teenager who mopes about, bringing everyone down? Maybe offer to pay him to entertain the younger set for a couple hours after dinner so the adults can talk.

2. Have an attitude of gratitude. Yeah, they may be annoying, but it’s your family.

3. Look for the humor. Try not to take everything so seriously. Sometimes you just have to laugh and say, “It is what it is”.

4. If your Monster in Law is annoying you, tenderize the meat or take some glass bottles to the recycling depot or do some angry baking and knead the dough with enthusiasm. There are some really socially acceptable ways to let off some steam!

5. Resolve previous differences. It is not helpful to go home for the holidays to rectify an old disagreement. Make a phone call, send a text, write a letter with the intention of smoothing out any misunderstanding before you go.

6. Invite a friend: Most people’s manners improve when outsiders enter the scene.

7. Deal with one crisis at a time. If you’re at the table and your aunt is screaming about utensils, an uncle is trying to enlist you in the local chapter of the Tea Party, small cousins are running around screaming, and your dad is asleep on the couch, there’s nothing you can do here except minimize your focus so as to not become overwhelmed. Zone some of this out. In this case, it might be best to offer help with one of these crises, such as the aunt with the utensils. You’ll both be helping reduce another relative’s stress while simultaneously giving yourself an opportunity to get out of your seat to momentarily allow your politics-minded uncle to latch on to another relative (sorry, siblings).

8. Give kids a way to be included. Then set them free. Kids are simply not going to enjoy being trapped at a table with adults (especially dysfunctional adults) for extended periods of time. They get restless. They get whiny. They slump in their chairs. Yes, they should be expected to behave with at least a minimum of decorum during the meal but head off complaints and tantrums by planning something for them to do while the adults linger at the table.

9. Be as cool as a cucumber. Master the art of smiling and nodding. Polite agreement can go a long way in helping you escape rough situations.

10. If they try to parent your children – yes this is very infuriating but it is what it is. Use the Sandwich technique: Surround your feedback with lots of compliments, so they can’t get angry or offended by what you’re saying. So, for example, ‘The kids love being with you and we really like having you over for lunch but when you shout at them for playing with their food, it upsets them and it hurts us. So can we work out a way for us all to help the kids eat properly?’

SO stay sane and try to enjoy the time you can. The final swan song is to simply wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving.

If your family drive you crazy, may your turkey at least be tantrum-free and golden crispy.

Till next time

AdeleSign2

To be loved…

To be loved...

“We have to allow ourselves to be loved by the people who really love us, the people who really matter.

Too much of the time, we are blinded by our own pursuits of people to love us, people that don’t even matter, while all that time we waste and the people who do love us have to stand on the sidewalk and watch us beg in the streets!

It’s time to put an end to this. It’s time for us to let ourselves be loved.”
― C. JoyBell C.

If forever single and 50+ – are you a woman who emasculates men?

In a recent article for the Daily Mail, Kate Mulvey bemoans the fact that as she approaches 50, she is not yet married, putting this down to the fact that men are unable to cope with a woman ‘outshining’ them. She refers to recent research confirming this, saying ‘I have lost count of the times men have rejected and insulted me simply because I was brighter, wittier or cleverer than they are.’

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In her article, Kate talks about several occasions when her partners (for she seems to have had many), have reacted negatively when she has demonstrated her superior knowledge or intellect. She is ‘convinced that the reason I am still booking a table for one..[is] because men are so threatened by my intelligence.’

Kate outlines her academic prowess, including having breezed through university, stressing how she continues to enjoy learning, and how she is keen to flex [her] intellectual muscles, and to never let a man get the last word just because of his sex. Kate concludes that it’s necessary to become a giggly man-pleaser in order to have a successful relationship, and is unwilling to sell-out by doing so.

Fair enough Kate, but I am not sure if your assessment of why you are single is accurate…

I don’t think men are threatened by you, I think men feel emasculated around you so don’t like the way they feel about themselves when with you, so they leave you…

I agree that it’s not necessary to conform to some stereotypical view of a submissive doormat, who flutters her eyelashes and simpers, because it’s impossible to attract a man otherwise BUT I also think shoving your superior knowledge or intellect in their faces is not going to win any relationship points.

Consider what makes a fulfilling and positive relationship. What do most people, male or female, look for in a relationship? Of course, there are many answers to this, and what makes one person happy in a relationship may not make another person feel the same. However, at the heart of any strong relationship is the concept of mutual love, support and respect, and the idea of your partner wanting the best for you, and helping you to be the best that you can be. No-one feels happy in a relationship where one partner is so concerned to demonstrate their capability or strengths, that they don’t take their partner’s feelings into consideration.

The sad thing is I SEE SO MANY WOMEN LIKE KATE WHO DO THIS. They then blame the men for being threatened!! Ladies: showing a constant need to be the best, or always wanting the last word, is not a good way to communicate care and respect for your man. For a relationship to deepen and strengthen over time, it needs to be carefully nurtured and nourished, by letting him know that he is the most important person in the world to you, and that you care about how he feels. Continually undermining him, or competing with him, will exhaust him and damage and end your relationship.

Here are some sure fire signs that you emasculate men:

  • Ask him for help, then either criticise what he did, redo it or do it your way
  • Fight and shout in scream in public
  • Call him names in front of other people or mock him in public in ANY way, shape or form
  • Belittle what he does for a living
  • Mother him
  • Flirt with his friends in front of him
  • Tell him another guy could do it better
  • Straighten his tie or preen his clothes for him in public (like his mother used to do)
  • Pat him on the head in public
  • Never praise anything he does, just criticise
  • Nag and nag ang nag him shouting instructions at him to do x,y or z
  • Belittle his manhood
  • Micromanage his every move
  • Tell him you will pay for things all the time or ASSUME that he cannot pay his own way
  • Embaress him by giving him bigger presents than he gives you
  • Nothing he does is ever good enough
  • Go on and on about how clever you are
  • Laugh at him mockingly often
  • Make his salary an issue

What makes a great relationship? When both of you feel like the best person of yourselves when together. Most men I know have no problem with a highly intelligent woman – on the contrary: they look for them. BUT when a highly intelligent woman is also arrogant, haughty or emasculating to be around – most men will run a mile.

If a couple lays a foundation of mutual support, encouragement and respect, this builds confidence in the relationship. True love is demonstrated by the willingness to compromise occasionally, and a genuine concern to act with their best interests at heart. You will not want to hurt or embarrass your fella, especially in public. Choosing not to outshine your man on occasions, (even if you could), is not selling out. You simply recognise that consideration for his feelings is far more important to the health of your relationship. A man who truly feels loved and valued will not want to leave.

SO, if you are forever single, serially dating and being dumped and 50+ and have been telling yourself that you are just too smart and intelligent for all the men out there – stop. Take a look at yourself. Has your positive sense of self turned your arrogant and do you emasculate the men around you? If so, then come and do the Naked Divorce program and get to the source of why you keep pushing great guys away and sending most men running a mile. As you are the common equation in each relationship you have ever been in, it might be time to look deeper at what you can be responsible for.

Till next time

Lots of hugs,

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New Tantrum Event!

New Tantrum Event!

OK attention all Tantrum Peeps:

Our next Tantrum Event is a freebie held at 37 Degrees gym @ London Bridge in London from 2pm-3:30pm on SATURDAY 26 October 2013.

Bring your best BAD SELF and come and release all your pent-up frustration, anger, upsetness or just generally come and have a good laugh with others.

37 Degrees is at 2b More London Riverside, London, SE1 2AP. Go to London Bridge tube, walk to Hays Galleria then to HMS Belfast ship – there is a market and behind 3 colorful giraffes is the gym.

Please RSVP so we know to expect you (and your friends are welcome too)
xxx The Bitches (and Blokes) with Bats

TANTRUM – the anger management program so you can LET RIP and GET FIT

Coming to your from the founders of the critically acclaimed Tantrum Club, find out what people think about the all new anger management FITNESS program. For the first time ever you can completely LET RIP whilst getting FIT. Not only will you release all negative emotions like anger, frustration, anxiety and sadness whilst getting an INSANE workout – you will re-balance and recenter yourself at the end of the class. Tantrum is based on months and months of research into which movements release which emotions culminating in a never-seen before series of choreography and dance moves.