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Emotional Blackmail: A Subtle Abuse

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How to set Boundaries to Avoid the "Holiday Blues"

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By: Dwight Bain, LMHC

A recent USA Today poll asked this question, “Which best fits your holiday emotional state?”
Relaxed - 18% Joyful - 31% Stressed -27% Depressed -24%

Why do people feel so overloaded with additional problems during the holidays? I believe the majority of the pressure they feel is from trying to live up to unrealistic expectations of creating a ‘perfect’ Christmas.
Remember Clark W. Griswald from the movie ‘Christmas Vacation?’ He is the laughable, but best illustration of a guy who tries to do everything right, only to have literally everything go wrong. Dysfunctional relatives, one blown bulb derailing all of the decorations, the Christmas tree goes up in flames, the turkey is dry, the check for the swimming pool is going to bounce, add in a crazy cousin kidnapping the hateful boss, while the dog destroys the house chasing a rabid squirrel and a senile senior citizen sings the national anthem and you have the whole 9 yards of Christmas chaos.
The movie makes us laugh becaus…