Bonding, Boundaries And Life During The Holidays At Home, Church And Work

Wednesday, November 1, 2023 @ 9:02 PM

The holidays bring up more intense feelings as we bond and try to set boundaries with ourselves and others during this special season. Now we may want to do more bonding because we see more opportunities to be around friends and or loved ones. This is important and we should take advantage of it. It's also important that we be careful of our own entitlement as well as getting too close to people where it might become enmeshment or what therapists call pseudo-mutuality. This is where boundaries come in and may be important for us to have as we look at our obligations, expectations, and even other people's entitlement.

Good memories, fun times, sincere gift giving and receiving as well as the opportunity to spend time with loved ones and friends can be a great part of bonding during the holidays. Sharing, talking and just hanging out can sometimes be the richest experience for this time of year. The biblical word for knowing somebody is really more about close connection and having emotional intimacy. Look for this in some form during the holidays because it can become very rewarding. It's important to ask questions to catch up with your relatives and friends. Find out what their experiences have been in the last year.

At the same time, you may need to set boundaries with Uncle Frank who gets drunk on most holidays. Or maybe your relatives have huge expectations of you and others. Or you may need to set boundaries with your boss who expects you to work overtime for a holiday rush or even as a leader in a company you may need to set limits with stakeholders that have large expectations of your staff. Or even getting burned out at church by doing too much Christmas stuff and you're thinking about giving up your denomination for lent.

Boundaries might be setting limits on your own holiday eating pattern. Besides which you can probably take some of it home and store it in the refrigerator. It may also be good to set limits on how much you talk about memories or people who have passed on. As a leader you can distribute information on how to cope with holiday stress and depression. You can also train your staff to recognize signs of holiday letdown in their employees. You can also coordinate holiday support groups especially for the newly relocated or single employees who may not have relatives to go to the holidays with. A good trick is to set limits on your motives as well of course as your own expectations or entitlement. Pray before you go to a holiday event at work or at church or even at home even if you have to pray for the desire of your heart so you help lay out your expectations with God before you go which can help you both with bonding and boundaries.