How to Keep the Grinch from Stealing the Happy in Your Holidays
Do you have a Grinch in your family? Someone who steals your holiday happiness? I suppose every family has a Grinch or two that shows up. Can you be Grinchy? I think we all struggle with a Grinch attitude sometimes.
Grinch is main character in the Dr. Suess classic. He did not like seeing people happy. Grinch’s sole intent was to ruin Christmas in Whoville by stealing their gifts. While his motivation appeared sinister it was more an expression of hurt he experienced as a young lad in the town.
I think a lot of Grinches operate out of unresolved hurt. We see them as a”party pooper”, “Scrooge”, or some other “Grinch-like” character who somehow succeeds in ruining the holidays every year. In reality, they may be hurt or broken on the inside.
So whether the Grinch shows up on your doorstep or within yourself, you want to make sure it doesn’t ruin your festivities. Check out these 5 prevention measures to keep Grinch from stealing the happy in your holidays.
Choose your holiday attitude and stick to it no matter what
We own our attitude during the holidays. It is a matter of choice. Choose happiness and stick to it no matter what. Do not allow the attitude or actions of others steal your joy!
Be careful your Grinch doesn’t come out too! If you have a negative attitude it can steal the happiness in your family. Don’t allow work problems or other issues too much airplay in your head. Hit the pause button on those things and choose to enjoy the holidays with the people you love.
Rehearsal and reminders are key in keeping your holiday attitude stuck on happy. It will probably help if you had some self-talk statements to reinforce the attitude you choose. Do this in advance of the holidays to get you into the spirit. When something attempts to steal your happiness you can remind yourself of the attitude you chose.
Do not allow Grinch to get into your head
You know how Grinches can be. Their grumpy, complaining, arguing attitude can put a damper on a joyous occasion. When Grinch focuses negativity on you it will affect your attitude if you allow it.
This is a good time to take a few deep breaths and keep your attitude in check. Remind yourself of the attitude you chose by rehearsing your self-talk.
Keep conversations short with Grinch and change the subject often if necessary. By maintaining control of the content and amount of attention you give to Grinch, it will prevent your attitude from being stolen.
Filter Grinch speech
Grinches like to get into your head. Words can cut through like a knife! In an instant, they can say something that makes you feel guilty, angry, or responsible for their unhappiness. If you take the bait it will steal your happiness.
To avoid this, filter Grinch speech. Do not give credibility to their words. Do not defend yourself. Simply say, “You are entitled to your opinion, but I don’t share it. If you choose to be negative, keep it to yourself.” Then walk away or change the subject.
Focus more on people who share your holiday attitude
Some people have a tendency to fixate on Grinch to the exclusion of others. It is not your job to monitor Grinch. If you do, say goodbye to your happy attitude. It will be “easy pickens” for Grinch!
Instead, focus on people who share your holiday attitude. Enter into their conversations. Enjoy playing a game together. Giving less attention to Grinch and more to other people sets a healthy boundary that also sends a message. “If you want my attention, change your attitude and be happy!”
Live at peace with the Grinch
You cannot turn a grouchy Grinch into a happy Santa. This is something they have to decide to do for themselves. However, you can change the way you look at Grinch.
Behind the self-centered person is a wounded, unhappy soul. Grinch is lost and can’t find his/her way out of their pain. Instead, they act out and hurt others to feel better. It doesn’t work. They still hurt on the inside.
Knowing this, you can look at Grinch with fresh eyes. You can’t change Grinch. However, by understanding this person you can live at peace with him/her. Grinch is no longer a powerful threat, but a weak person.
One of my favorite Bible verses says, “As far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” You cannot make Grinch leave at peace with you, but you can with Grinch. Understanding the hurt underneath the hate will help. Kindness, mercy, and grace are powerful antidotes to the underlying hurt.
Choosing to live at peace with Grinch will keep the happy in your holidays.
Now it’s your turn
Who plays Grinch in your holiday season? You know the script–what they do to steal your happiness. What scripts can you write, rehearse and remind yourself to combat the Grinch?
If you are a Grinch, what attitude(s) are you going to focus on changing? Start writing scripts down that you can rehearse during the upcoming weeks that will generate a happy attitude.