6 Ways to Cope with Your Narcissistic Parents This Holiday Season

If time and finances are available, take some time off before the holidays. Get a massage, a facial, or something else that relaxes you. Find relaxing activities to do before and after the day you see your parents. Adult coloring books, knitting, and crocheting are also great and cheap activities to soothe the mind and relax the body. This will help you cope with the holiday season and all the stress that comes with it. The more relaxed you are, the better you’ll be able to see the situation with your parents clearly. You may find you overreact more than necessary. By allowing your mind to replenish its stress hormones, you will find you will be able to cope with the holidays more easily. 

6. Resolve Your Emotions

Sometimes you are reacting to a present event with your parents. But sometimes you’re reacting to unresolved wounds and past hurts that have not been resolved. There are great resources available to help you deal with setting firm boundaries and resolving past hurts so that you can see present events with clarity. Boundaries by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. Henry Townsend and Emotionally Healthy Spiritually by Pete Scazzero are two great resources to help you with this. There are also additional classes and courses you can take to help you deal specifically with your emotions regarding your parents. Do what you can to forgive past events before you see them. Unresolved emotional wounds can cloud your judgment and make you see things from a skewed perspective. You may never forget what has happened in the past, which you can choose to forgive. God calls us to forgive others of their sins so that we will be forgiven of our sins. 

Take some time with the Lord and conduct an analysis of your parenting style. Do you find you do things similarly to your parents? As much as we dislike it, we sometimes become more like our parents than we realize. If you identify something you say or do that is similarly hurtful to your children as you have been hurt by your parents, understand that we’re all human. Our parents did the best they could with what they learned from the previous generation. Give them a break and give yourself a break as well. You may find you’re more like your parents than you previously thought.

The holidays can be stressful regardless of who is around your dinner table. But it can be especially stressful when your parents choose to put themselves first instead of you. Strive to put their needs first, and you will find yourself less frustrated and restore your joy. You may find you have a better holiday than you anticipate when you choose to act the way Jesus wants us to act. 

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