Ep. 15 - A Survival Guide For Difficult Family Gatherings With Dr John Barletta

About This Episode

Important family events and gatherings can be wonderful moments full of joy and celebration, yet they can also come with the awkwardness, frustration and anger caused by unrealistic expectations and difficult relationships. In this episode, Dave is joined by the Do Life Better podcast’s resident psychologist, Dr John Barletta, as they share the tips and methods for avoiding potentially difficult moments to allow you to keep your focus on the positive connections and celebrations.

Here are the main topics and their time markers:

2:07 - “Every family has a goose and if you can’t figure out who it is, then maybe it is you.”

2:46 - Everyone can be high maintenance when we spend enough time with them. This helps us remember that we need to be even more accepting of others.

4:04 - There is nothing harder than relationships, but when we connect with people we have healthier and longer lives.

5:00 - What happens when we carry the belief that others need to be perfect and this links to the belief that we are perfect.

6:16 - Why we often have unrealistic expectations that everything will be perfect at special events like Christmas, weddings, and other important gatherings.

8:36 - Why we get even more upset or annoyed than usual when things go wrong at big, important events.

10:39 - Keeping perspective and being grateful helps to allow your focus to be on connecting with others.

12:50 - How to manage the difficult relationships with certain family and friends when you need to see them at important gatherings. Some tips: turn up on the day in a better state and mindset, sit with “safer people” and chat about safer topics, respond instead of react.

15:53 - How to organise to meet with certain people before or after the big event as a way to remove the intensity of the season while still honouring the relationship and event.

18:10 - How to respond effectively to the awkward and uncomfortable questions from inquisitive family and friends. And, being more aware of the questions you ask and the pressure you put on others.

21:23 - The challenge for the week: prepare yourself well for the upcoming event, think ahead so you can respond instead of react, and if needed, organise an alternative time and place to meet.

Dr John Barletta is a Counselling and Clinical Psychologist in Brisbane who promotes healthy living via integrated positive psychology principles. His expertise includes therapy, workshops, keynotes, medico-legal and psychological assessments, corporate consulting, executive coaching, mediation, and clinical supervision.

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