When you live with someone who has borderline personality disorder (BPD) or high emotional sensitivity, it's not uncommon for the holidays to be a push and pull between hope and dread. But it doesn't have to be that way.
Here’s a brief checklist adapted from the DBT interpersonal Effectiveness Module for you and or your clients to use when deciding how firmly or intensely you want to ask for something or to say no. Completing this checklist and discussing it with a support person can provide a sense of confidence in your process of decision making.
The term "people pleaser" is widely used today to describe individuals who go above and beyond to avoid having others think less of them. What you may not know about people pleasing is that it is a fixed pattern of responding to others based upon experiences learned at a fairly young age.
When we are on the receiving end of an angry outburst, we need to manage the problem in a way that resolves the issue AND maintains the relationship. These 9 skillful responses greatly increases our chances of being successful with both goals.
Coping ahead of time for difficult situations is an important skill to develop for those who struggle with intense emotions. The holidays are particularly difficult for people with mental illness which makes this a perfect time to master a process that can make a significant difference in your experience of the holidays whether you are a family member of or a person who feels empty much of the time.
The holidays may contribute to feeling sad, dissatisfied and financially strained, loneliness, too much pressure, and unrealistic expectations. Many find themselves remembering happier times in the past contrasting with the present, while unable to be with loved ones. The good news is that there are many things that we can do to make even the most difficult holidays more tolerable.

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