Is Being A Control Freak Causing You Problems? Rein in your controlling...
TIME TO HEAL THAT FAMILY RIFT BEFORE THE HOLIDAYS
Are you dreaming of a perfect family Christmas like a version of the Waltons? But in reality, your worst nightmare will come true because there's a rift brewing liable to ruin Christmas. There's hope for your family yet!
All families have rifts - mine included. Show me a feud-free family that's never fallen out, and I’ll show you one that probably doesn't care much for each other. At this time of year, though, that's not much solace if you’re worried there’ll be nothing like good will to all in your household.
It's easy to believe everyone else’s family will have a fantastic time. But one survey found family rows were one of the top two seasonal worries, money being the other. It's not just we mere mortals facing a bleak Christmas as many celebrities do too. Recent reports suggest Kerry Katona, Angelina Jolie, top comedian Jimmy Carr and Kate Moss's shambolic boyfriend Pete Doherty won’t play happy families around the Christmas tree due to fall-outs with family members.
There are important insights specific to families explaining why they have damaging, longstanding rifts. Firstly, we’re terrible busybodies when it comes to family members assuming we know best and think we’ve carte blanch to bandy our opinions about. Of course, we know what's best for, e.g., our brother that can’t hold down a job or sister who chooses unsuitable men. We don’t bite our tongue as we would with friends. Interfering is the root of many disputes.
We also take families for granted and do things to them we wouldn't to others. Things like lending Cousin Keith money that's never paid back or Aunt Gill always taking advantage of our hospitality leave us fuming. We know they wouldn’t do it to friends.
Another insight worth remembering is we don't choose our family like we do friends. We choose friends because we get along, share the same interests, and want to do the same things. That doesn't hold true for family members meaning a host of different personalities at play in fall-outs making families a minefield of grudges, one-upmanship and rivalry.
The dizzy heights of family happiness portrayed by the Walton’s in reality are out of our reach. And face it, John-Joe and co. were a bit cringe making. Nevertheless you’ll want a modicum of peace on earth rather than WW3 shattering your family this Christmas.
v Run the issue that's been festering past a disinterested third party. Try to see it from another’s point of view before you try to start to heal it. This can be a real eye-opener to help you move forward.
v Bite the bullet and decide to make the first move. Come on, forget your pride and look forward to a happier Christmas!
v Plan what you’re going to say. Run the specifics past someone whose judgement you trust. They’ll help pick up negative undercurrents you might not realise are there. Many an apology is laced with bitterness!
v No one’s a 100% wrong so acknowledgement your part in the rift. Taking responsibility and showing you aren’t blaming the other person will move things forward much more quickly. It's a cliche but own up to being part of the problem and you can be part of the solution.
v Give some advance warning (e.g. an email or note that you’d love to talk). Then ring when calm and unhurried ensuring you keep a tactful tone. A psychological trick to reach their subconscious is to have quiet Christmas music playing in the background when you ring.
v Don’t expect it all to be hunky-dory straight away. Be patient with them.
v If unsuccessful and they don't want to bury the hatchet, then agree to disagree and not to raise the issue over the Christmas period.
v If you’re not part of the rift but want to help resolve it, without taking sides ask if there’s anything you can do to help.
v Before any Christmas events select a family member to serve as "mediator" if it all goes wrong and the rift surfaces. This should be someone with no vested interest in the rift.
Ultimately you’re individuals. Start looking at each family member as a unique personality - appreciating their differences - will prevent future rows. Give everyone a turn to shine over the holidays. I wish you a happy family Christmas!
Published in the Express Newspaper
My new book The Emotional Eater's Diet is published in the UK on May 15 - I’m very excited as I hope emotional eaters - women or men will find it helpful. Each year 2/3s of people start a diet and 20% start a new diet each month. Yet 95% of diets aren’t successful.
I firmly believe that emotional eating to soothe difficult feelings is the culprit behind most of this failure. My book has a huge range of practical tips/strategies to help understand your emotions and manage your appetite. There are mini-quizes and real case studies.
It’s available to preorder on Amazon. Please remember that food can fuel your energy needs but not your emotional needs. Take care!
I'm delighted that my latest book Sex Academy was endorsed by my fellow self-help author Siski Green who said: "Sex Academy really is THE Bible of sex books. The lessons and lectures cover the A-Z of everything you want to know - from Anal sex to getting Zero sex." I hope you enjoy it!
I was so excited and HAPPY to write this book on happiness covering my 10 unique Happiness Principles. I hope it helps increase your well-being, contentment, and happiness. I've packed it with dozens and dozens of easy-to-use strategies, plus life-changing insights. Based on about five years of collecting case studies and research I hope you'll find it helpful.
My latest sex guide's out - I've gone through thousands of questions people ask me about sex - from why they don't feel desire to how to handle a partner's kinky fetish. Here are the answers plus loads of tricks and techniques. Enjoy!
Discover the relationship between your dreams and your sex- and love-life! Go on a journey of self-discovery in this unique dream book. Case studies, a dream directory, and ‘dreamersises’ help you interpret your dreams.
My research found if a couple's been together more than one year it's unlikely you've tried any new sex tip, trick or technique for at least four months! Rescue's at hand with my 250 hottest sex tips for every aspect of your sex life.
No couple or single can be without this unique, best-selling book containing a vast range of techniques, tricks and tips to turn your lover on. From attracting someone new to recharging your old relationship, Fabulous, explores each of the sexual senses in turn!
No. 1 selling book offering you tons of fantastic sex tips PLUS a new and revolutionary ways of looking at sexual pleasure and ‘problems‘ and how they fit into a person's whole life and relationships.
No. 1 selling sex book covering everything from how your body works to infinite sex tips. The Daily Star said: 'Sinful Sex has something for everyone'
A unique parenting book giving you creative techniques to understand your child better through their dreams and nightmares. These reveal so much about a child that most parents miss out on. Strengthen your parent-child relationship, their confidence and well-being!