How Do I Set Healthy Boundaries With My Family For The Holidays?

setting healthy boundaries

The holiday season can be incredibly stressful, whether you’re lonely and isolated or overwhelmed by difficult family members. Handling these stressors can be challenging but not impossible! 

Let’s talk about how you can set some healthy boundaries with your family during the holiday season.

How Do I Begin The Process Of Setting Healthy Boundaries?

  • The first step is acknowledging the issues – be honest with yourself. Don’t avoid uncomfortable things. We often ignore abusive treatment or make excuses for people who aren’t kind, which isn’t helpful to anyone. 
  • The next step is to identify the behaviors that you feel are unkind or abusive to yourself. Be specific. If your child is involved, talk to them about how other family members treat them.
  • Talk to the family member that is exhibiting these behaviors. Explain to them how it makes you feel and that it is not appropriate to talk to or treat you the way they do. Be prepared for the possibility that they may push back or attack you in return.
  • Clearly express your refusal to allow them to continue inappropriately treating you. Tell them you will need to choose to stay away from family events if that is the case. 
  • Be prepared to make other arrangements for your holiday festivities. Invite people to your house who you are confident will treat you the way you should. 
  • Don’t feel guilty. Often taking a stand causes an abusive person to take another look at their own behavior – change may come.

What Can I Do In An Abusive Situation That Is Not Improving?

If you have taken steps to establish healthy boundaries and the situation has become volatile, the Bridges Domestic Violence Center is here for you. 

We offer services designed to help victims stay safe and recover from abusive relationships. 

Such services include:

  • Temporary Shelter
  • Crisis Intervention
  • Child Advocacy
  • Community Resources
  • And help for your fur babies, too!

As the only domestic violence shelter in Williamson County, Tennessee, Bridges Domestic Violence Center is dedicated to helping victims and survivors find a pathway to safety and independence. Our not-for-profit, non-discriminatory organization offers life-changing services and programs free of charge to anyone who has experienced physical, mental, or sexual abuse.

You can call us for help 24/7 at (615) 599-5777 or contact us online,

We are a member agency of United Way of Greater Nashville.

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