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Read my advice featured in The Sun’s Fabulous magazine!

Updated: Apr 10

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Here are my simple steps to avoiding toxic family arguments this Christmas

It’s the most wonderful time of the year… or is it? If Christmas with the family feels more like a festive trial than a time of peace, love and joy, you’re not alone. 

According to Relate, 70% of us are expecting to row over the festive season. Many of us are stuck in unhelpful or damaging behavioural patterns with our loved ones, and being shut inside together can take more than a glass of mulled wine to endure.

We spoke to the experts on dealing with festive family issues, so you can go forth and be merry…

“Year after year, we can go into the festive period hoping that this time it’s going to be different, and more often than not, it isn’t and we experience painful repetition of past hurts,” says Kate Roberts, a hypnotherapist and coach. 

Don’t be a child

Even if you’re happy in your own skin and a success at home and work, just 10 minutes at your parents’ house can be enough to bring out your inner brat.

It’s understandable, says Kate. “Christmas can be triggering for many of us. We’re often recreating family structures from childhood, so it’s easy to assume those familiar roles and slip into old unconscious patterns of behaviour.”

Kate says: “A tactful conversation with your parents may do the trick, but the most important thing is to remind yourself of who you are now, remember that you’re very different from the childhood version of you and try to maintain that sense of self as you go into these interactions.” </