When we visit our relatives over the holidays, other family members may fall back into old habits and old roles from childhood. To prevent this from happening, remember that you are coming home as an adult, not the kid you used to be.
Photo by Paul Townsend
Psychology Today reminds us that we’re “just visiting” home and we don’t need to fall into old patterns:
Have you ever noticed that you can revert to who you were as a child when you return to the friends and family of your childhood? We all learned to play “our part” in the family dynamic as children. We were “the nice one,” “the big brother,” “the one who comforted Mum.” Whatever role we took on, we got really good at it! Like riding a bike, our ability to play that part is still available and, when we go back home, we can slip into those old roles automatically.
The best way to avoid this situation is to mix up your typical pattern at home. If you can afford it, stay at a hotel instead of in your old room, or stay in your parents’ guest room rather than your old bedroom. If you had a usual seat at the table when you were a kid, pick a different spot. If you typically set the dinner table, clean up the dishes instead.
You get the idea. The key is to remind everyone you’re an adult now and, much like your childhood PJs, those roles no longer fit.
Home for the Holidays: Your Survival Guide [Psychology Today]