ERP 012: Dealing With Extended Family’s Expectations
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Dealing with extended family’s expectations can be difficult to navigate sometimes. Dynamics can be more difficult and pronounced when living at a distance, when having a new role (newly married, new parents, etc.), or wanting to change family traditions.
Vacations and trips can feel more stressed and pressured when trying to meet extended family’s expectations. If you have moved away, your family may feel more entitled to more of your time during a visit.
HERE ARE SOME TIPS TO CONSIDER:
- Self: First consider, “what would I really enjoy? What would be meaningful and significant for me? Is there anything that I don’t want?”
- Couple: What does your significant other want on this trip? Is there anything that he/she is looking forward to? What is most important? Is there anything that your significant other does not want to experience?
- Extended Family: Before the trip, take time to ask your extended loved ones, “I would love to know what you are thinking? I really care about you and want to hear what would feel good for you. What would you like to see happen? What would help make this trip meaningful and special? Is there anything you do not want?”
1. Consideration: Having clarity on what people are wanting and not wanting will help establish the most important aspects to consider. It is almost as though you are taking inventory on all the essential pieces. Taking time to check-in with your extended family member/s before hand will help them feel considered, cared about, and important.
2. Co-creation: Now that you have a sense of everybody’s needs and/or wishes, you have the opportunity to engage in a creative conversation with your loved ones. Together you can work towards generating solutions that meet everybody’s needs. While it might seem like more work on the front end, it will help simplify the process and reduce power struggles and tension during the visit. The process can also feel fun, strategic, and proactive.
3. Debrief: This is an ever evolving fine-tuning process. It will be important to adjust and modify as you practice these steps. After a visit, you may want to ask, “what worked well? What didn’t work well? What do we want to do differently next time? As you make adjustments and improvements, you will find the process will get easier and more rewarding.
What To Do With Difficult Interactions?
Love with Boundaries.
- Pause and breathe.
- Wonder, “what is happening here?”
- Get curious, “Tell me more.”
- Reflect back, “What I am hearing is …”
- Stay present and clear on your position.
- Understand them & Love them
- Maintain boundaries
- Invite a discussion towards a workable solution, that is mutually beneficial. “What do we want to do now?”
Don’t forget to take the Get To Know You Giveaway Survey before April 30th, for the chance to win a $250 gift card to a nice dinner out or couples massage.
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