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8 Tips for Dealing with Difficult Relatives During the Holiday Season

Gretchen Rubin has some valuable insight for those who struggle with the holidays for one reason or another:

Holidays can be tough. Some people love them; some people dread them.

I thought a lot about the holidays as I was writing Happier at Home, because the holiday season tends to be a time when we focus on home. Maybe you’re going “home” the way I go home to Kansas City for Christmas–which may be fun for you, or not. Maybe you’re deciding how to decorate your home. Maybe you’re making an effort to arrange the holidays the way you experienced them as a child–or the opposite. Maybe you’re feeling sad, or happy, about whom you will or won’t be seeing.

From talking to people, it seems that one of the biggest happiness challenges of the holidays is dealing with difficult relatives. You want to have a nice dinner, but Uncle Bobby makes you crazy. What to do?” Get the answer here: 8 Tips for Dealing with Difficult Relatives During the Holiday Season. « The Happiness Project.

"How Do I Avoid Be Dragged Down By Difficult People?"

Gretchen Rubin has some good thoughts on the topic over at The Happiness Project

If you want to read more about this resolution, check out…

Quiz: Are you a “Tigger” or an “Eeyore”?
Quiz: Are you the one that everyone finds difficult?
9 tips for dealing with difficult relatives.
Make people happier by acknowledging that they’re not feeling happy.

Source: The Happiness Project: “How Do I Avoid Be Dragged Down By Difficult People?”

Great use of video blogging as well, wouldn’t you say?

To Be Happier, Write Your Own Set of Personal Commandments

Cover of "The Happiness Project: Or, Why ...

One of my favorite authors is Gretchen Rubin of The Happiness Project. Recently, she shared her thoughts on having your own set of personal commandments…

One of the most challenging—and most helpful and fun—tasks that I’ve done as part of my Happiness Project is to write my Twelve Personal Commandments. These aren’t specific resolutions, like make my bed, but the overarching principles by which I try to live my life.

It took me several months to come up with this list, and it has been very useful for me to have them identified clearly in my mind. It’s a creative way of distilling core values.

To get you started as you think about your own commandments, here are my Twelve Commandments:

1. Be Gretchen.
2. Let it go.
3. Act the way I want to feel.
4. Do it now.
5. Be polite and be fair.
6. Enjoy the process.
7. Spend out. (This is probably the most enigmatic of my commandments.)
8. Identify the problem.
9. Lighten up.
10. Do what ought to be done.
11. No calculation.
12. There is only love.

So how do you come up with your own list?

Consider phrases that have stuck with you. When I look at my Twelve Commandments, I realize that five of them are actually quotations from other people. My father repeatedly reminds me to “Enjoy the process.” A respected boss told me to “Be polite and be fair.” A good friend told me that she’d decided that “There is only love” in her heart for a difficult person. “No calculation” is a paraphrase of my spiritual master St. Therese (“When one loves, one does not calculate”), and “Act the way I want to feel” is a paraphrase of William James.

Aim high and fight the urge to be too comprehensive.I’ve found that my commandments help me most when I review them at least daily, to keep them fresh in my mind, and to do this, it helps to keep the list short and snappy. I suspect that Twelve Commandments is too much. Maybe I only need two, “Be Gretchen” and “There is only love.”

Think about what’s true for you.Each person’s list will differ. One person’s commandment is to “Say yes,” another person’s commandment is to “Say no.” You need to think about yourself, your values, your strengths and weaknesses, your interests.

Source: The Happiness Project: To Be Happier, Write Your Own Set of Personal Commandments.

Is happiness an issue for you? You might benefit from Gretchen’s work. I have!

An Incomplete List Of Things To Do Daily, To Be Happy and Healthy

Gretchen RubinOne of my new favorite blogs is ‘The Happiness Project’ hosted by Gretchen Rubin. Yesterday she shared this…

I’ve just started trying to come up with a list of the bare minimum of things we should do every day to be happy and healthy.

This list doesn’t include major challenges, like “Quit smoking.” Obviously, quitting smoking is very important for health, but it’s not easy to add to a to-do list. This list doesn’t include items like “Spend less time on the internet” or “Read more” because they aren’t universal enough. This list also doesn’t include items related to attitude: gratitude, cheerfulness, and the like. These are very concrete, very essential things to do as part of the everyday routine.

Here’s what I’ve come up with so far…
Wear your seat belt
Take prescriptions medications properly
Go for a ten-minute walk (preferably outside)
Put your keys and wallet away in the same place
Take something with you (for instance, drop your dirty socks in the hamper on your way from your bedroom to the kitchen)
Charge your phone
Connect with someone close to you
Go to bed in time to get a good night’s sleep

As less crucial, but also highly advisable…
Make your bed
Kiss every member of your family
Sign the organ donor registry or tell your family you’d want to be a donor

What else would you add? I know I’m missing many items.

Source: The Happiness Project: An Incomplete List Of Things To Do Daily, To Be Happy and Healthy.

I’d suggest you add her site to Google Reader and follow her every day! But only if you want to be happy…

Making New Year’s Resolutions? Ask Yourself 6 Questions.

The Happiness Project

Image by elycefeliz via Flickr

I just stumbled upon Gretche Rubin’s ‘Happiness Project’ the other day. She has some good thoughts on forming resolutions…

Forty-four percent of Americans make New Year’s resolutions, and I know I always do. I’m more inclined to make resolutions than ever, in fact, because if my happiness project has convinced me of anything, it has convinced me that resolutions—made right—can make a huge difference in boosting happiness.

So how do you resolve well? This is trickier than it sounds. Here are some tips for making your resolutions as effective as possible.

Source: The Happiness Project: Making New Year’s Resolutions? Ask Yourself 6 Questions.

Go to the source if you want her 6 questions…