Deeper Perception Made Practical

Awkward Relatives at Your Holiday

Awkward relatives at the holiday gathering. Uh-oh!

Awkward relatives at the holiday gathering. Uh-oh!

Awkward relatives — will they spoil your Christmas holiday? Or some other holiday? What can you do when family members are invited to gather around your holiday table and… You. Just. Don’t. Like. Them. ?????????

As a professional at Rosetree Energy Spirituality (RES) and survivor of my share of holidays with awkward relatives — I thought I’d share a few ideas with you. Also invite you to share your ideas as well.

Because chances are, many members of our informal RES community are planning for the worst. Or dreading with a nameless kind of hopelessness, akin to a stuffed and trussed turkey.

Gotta love the custom of relatives together at family gatherings! (Or maybe not.)

Awkward Relatives Helper #1. Energy Healing Skills

Less STUFF, and a stronger soul expression. That’s bound to help.

You can learn many skills for emotional and spiritual growth from this book and this one and this one and this one.

If you have them lying around, maybe it’s time to pick them up and use them.

Or maybe it’s time to make an appointment with an RES Expert. Because we can help you to move out underlying causes of anguish.

Really, is anguish too strong a word to use about dealing with certain awkward relatives come holiday time?

Maybe not.

This blog post isn’t the one I planned to write today. That cool face reading will have to wait. Because my client Joe inspired me. Fresh from our session, I decided that this was the article to write. Just in time for those family gatherings at Christmas or Kwanzaa or Chanukkah or whatever.

Less STUFF and more you. It really can make a big difference.

Awkward Relatives Helper #2. Going Through The Motions. You Can!

You look at that difficult holiday guest. Okaaaaay. Look just enough to be polite.

You can just look at the hair or the ear, not the eyes. In conversation, you speak politely, firmly inserted smack dab on the surface of human reality.

Is that cold? Not compared to the furor if you really did hide underneath the dining room table. 😉

That awkward relative with the drinking problem. Or the one who’s just a hot mess of some other kind.

You don’t have to become instant chums. Manners, etiquette, were invented for just such occasions.

But won’t that awkward relative feel the sting of cold behavior?

Maybe not.

Millions of family members are treated as outcasts. Or gushed over with “Christian charity” that drips with pity or condescension. Awkward family member could do worse that sort of kind civility.

Some of the folks who’ll be invited to join the extended family — they could be in really bad shape. Addicted. Off the wagon. Divorcing. Dealing with problems at work you don’t want to even know about… let alone face, were those problems yours instead.

Spending a few hours with you and the rest in a formally polite manner — could that become the highlight of that awkward relative’s YEAR. Just might be.

Awkward Relatives Helper #3. What Does Family Mean To You?

To get yourself out of a tormenting rut, consider. There can be so many perspectives. Here’s one related to age.

Are you a child or an adult?

Overall, these are very differerent perspectives on holiday occasions in general. And awkward relatives in particular.

A child thinks:

  • How can I have fun?
  • What can they give me?
  • When can I get away to play?

By comparsion, an adult thinks:

  • I’d like to have as good a time as possible, yet I’ll still be mindful of others.
  • What do the others need?
  • How can I help them?

Some of you reading this blog are at a stage in life where you haven’t yet become parents. Or otherwise started to really think as an adult.

There’s a sweetness to that, especially regarding family.

Awkward Relatives Helper #4. Family Means So Much More When…

A person is vulnerable. It could be illness. Financial challenge. A new stage in life. Love troubles of one sort or another. Political disappointment. Disillusion that came unexpectedly.

When we have to face our own vulnerability, we cling to what brings us courage: For some in your life, that may be family.

If you’re not needing that now, play along if you can. Kindness will come back to you.

Awkward Relatives Helper #5A. Ever Hear Of Vicarious Karma?

Most of you reading this blog are familiar with the idea of karma. Specifically bad karma coming back to you in ways that are awkward or worse.

Sometimes I feel as if I’m working at Karma Healing Central. In the sense that many of the RES Skills of Emotional and Spiritual Growth seem to have an indirect effect of softening karma payback.

For instance, there’s a saying I’ll use sometimes when discussing the logical consequences after cutting a particular cord of attachment: “The karma stops here.”

Not a saying I use lightly, mind you.

And it really feels like Karma Healing Central sometimes when I facilitate sessions of Soul Energy Awakening Hypnosis®, where results can be everyday-miraculous.

This year I’ve helped clients experience life reviews from some way-heavy past incarnations. Which helps to add to my growing understanding of karma payback. Including the following idea.

Awkward Relatives Helper #5B. These Folks Can BE Your Vicarious Karma

There are two ways to pay back bad karma: Directly and indirectly.

For example, suppose that in a past life iin Rome when you had strong beliefs that blinded you to compassion. So you learned about two adulterers who were having an affair. Back in the day, you intervened. Got the two “miscreants” exiled to different countries. And felt a happy sense of righteousness, purity, blah-blah-blah.

Okay, might as well be signing on the dotted line: “If you come back to Earth School, you’re going to have some really nasty problems with an affair you can’t resist.”

One way that karma could come back? Directly. A relationship becomes irresistable to you. And you just can’t resist. The affair threatens to bring shame, social disgrace, financial ruin, AIDS. And, weirdest of all, you are a good person. You never stop feeling like a good person. Yet others call you… a “miscreant.”

Another way that same karma could come back, if you’re lucky? Vicariously. You get to have your perfectly respectable love life but must suffer through three hours with some really awkward relative, GLADYS. She keeps telling you story after story about her beautiful love that nobody, nobody, nobody understands.

And you sure don’t. 😉

Oh, so awkward.

Well, you just might remember to act politely. Be kind. And let GLADYS talk, for heaven’s sake.

And later on, thank your lucky horoscope.

Awkward Relatives Helper #6. Including Awkward People Is A Mitzvah

Why not donate that blessing, that little piece of cake, that particle of attention?

Many millions of people today are refugees, physically displaced. Many millions today instead quietly — so quietly, — isolated. Shunned by family. Or coerced to such a degree that they won’t accept the invitation. Now way will they stand for being someone else’s “awkward relatives.”

On consideration, they would rather spend the big family holiday alone. Undoubtedly such a choice is right. But it still hurts.

A few hours of awkwardness to include the otherwise excluded…. How big is that in the grand scheme of things, or our grand social plans?

If nothing else, you might celebrate that you are in the position to call those trifling hours a big deal. Guess your life is pretty amazing after all!

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  1. 1
    Lilian says:

    Vicarious karma, eh, eh? That made me laugh.

  2. 2
    Julie says:

    Thanks for this post, Rose. How true that a little kindness can go a long way.

    How interesting about vicarious karma. I know someone, not a relative, who is in a lot of drama. Seemingly all the time.

    I do thank my lucky horoscope that my life, for all its trials, is not like that.

    I do try to help when I can. While also staying a skilled empath.

  3. 3
    Lilian says:

    I have to say, I’m looking forward to the comments on this one.

  4. 4
    Brianne says:

    While it is lovely when family members and relatives also happen to be the people in our lives who can see and appreciate who we are, that’s not actually all that common (in my observation and experience).

    It’s a Venn diagram where the circles don’t always overlap.

  5. 5
    Brianne says:

    Maybe it’s an idea based on Age of Faith rules that family of origin = people we’re closest to, love most, trust most, are always able to count on for all of our human lives.

  6. 6
    Brianne says:

    But in my experience, it’s okay for family of origin to fit into the same “closeness categories” as casual acquaintances or coworkers or sometimes even as strangers.

    I’m allowed to choose who I will include in my life in more intimate ways. And it becomes a beautiful family of my choice.

  7. 7

    LILIAN, JULIE, and BRIANNE, it’s such fun when you share your thoughts.

    Reading Comment #5, I practically cheered out loud. Fascinating and perceptive!

  8. 8
    Lilian says:

    Yes, Brianne s comment resonated.

    If you read Michael newton s work then he makes it very clear that his research suggests we incarnate time and time again with a core group of souls.

    But that thinking can add guilt and confusion to most of us. It makes us think we should feel so,etching we simply don’t . And that can lead to psychic coercion!

  9. 9
    Lilian says:

    You know why this made me laugh?

    I feel made great efforts in recent years to avoid working with certain types of people. But this has led me back to the same things again. I can deal with it, but it irritates me no end.

  10. 10
    Lilian says:

    Ha, I’m sure we all provide vicarious karma to others… It s simply about presenting to others aspects of life that other people might struggle with.

    You never know what that might be.

  11. 11

    LILIAN, thank you so much for these comments.

    Ever the educator, I will leap in here to address an idea in Comment #8. We do not, actually get psychic coercion from what you wrote about in that paragraph.

    You’all are always free to review the chapter on psychic coercion in “Use Your Power of Command for Spiritual Cleansing and Protection.”

  12. 12

    And about Comment #10, if I might share a thought.

    “Vicarious karma” is not quite what you’re talking about here, IMO, LILIAN.

    It’s more like: Either you are the drug addict (direct karma payback) or your brother is a drug addict (vicarious karma payback).

    Dealing with unpleasant people and situations has another technical term: Life on earth. 😉

  13. 13
    Jem says:

    Brianne, my family of origin are very troubled people – all of them.

    Alcoholism, imprisonment, domestic violence, overdoses, suicide attempts, deliberate self harm, patterns of betrayal and manipulation, homelessness, visits to psych wards – and that’s just on Christmas day when they get together 😉

  14. 14
    Jem says:

    One of the big and wonderful things I had to do this year was finally, finally, let go of the family paradigm you’ve touched on so eloquently.

    I absolutely agree with you that it’s part of the previous age.

  15. 15
    Jem says:

    As a mammal with ancestors whose survival depended on being OK with the tribe, I was VERY attached to the family idea!

    Not to mention all the social programming, and the way a personality forms in extremely codependent, dysfunctional, scary, isolating, illogical upbringing.

  16. 16
    Jem says:

    As a little unskilled empath working under the Jesus model of martyrdom and rescuer, further programmed by society who produces cute cards and posters and sayings about family being everything, as well as all the old biological stuff and STUFF stuff, it was quite a complex process in hindsight.

  17. 17
    Jem says:

    Go God. If that can be healed, anything can.

  18. 18
    Jem says:

    Now I’m happy to say, daily 20 min STUFF clearing and a few cords of attachment cut later, I am totally free of all that.

    When I think of them it is with a warm glow, and they are not a part of my life any longer, and I don’t have any suffering about it!

  19. 19
    Jem says:

    I don’t even think they shouldn’t be doing what they’re doing!

    Even if one of them dies, I’ll be able to accept it.

  20. 20
    Jem says:

    Incidentally, before I could do RES stuff, I had PHYSICALLY left them, but lived with them all day every day, arguing with them in my mind, still suffering the traumas and pain, grieving them, feeling guilt,wanting to save them, being so confused, feeling lost and empty without them, questioning whether I should be trying to help my mother not to OD… still the same person I was.

  21. 21
    Jem says:

    Incidentally, I have a replacement family that was just magically given to me, I didn’t have to find them or look for them or work for it, and they are sensational.

    Better than I could have dreamed and wonderful inspirations to me.

  22. 22
    Jem says:

    Anyway I think the old family paradigm keeps so many people imprisoned in less extreme ways than I was and I agree with you, it’s great to know when to draw the line, thank them for the experiences and move on.

    What freedom – surely that is a sign that a new age of being is upon us!

  23. 23
  24. 24
    Lilian says:

    Thanks rose, I thought this could be an example of “shoulding yourself”. Anyway, it’s interesting to balance what you wrote in the linked article to what you ve written here.

  25. 25
    Lilian says:

    Yes, life on earth. I was just trying to use what you said to spin some things in my head, my version of self motivation. ?

  26. 26
    Lilian says:

    Jem, your comments came up while I was typing. I m glad you found Rose. I appreciate your nod to our evolution as mammals.

    You know, I was quite happy to leave my family behind as a teenager. What hurt me was that close friends at the time judged me for that… that hurt a lot, but you can be a loving person and also exercise self protection.

  27. 27
    Lilian says:

    Good lord though jem, you re a brave person! Xxx

  28. 28

    Aha! LILIAN, thank you for bringing up up that great link. Very recommended reading as a supplement to this blog post.

    I was commenting on these words, “But that thinking can add guilt and confusion to most of us. It makes us think we should feel so,etching we simply don’t .”

  29. 29

    From that it wasn’t clear to me if you meant thinking about Michael Newton’s work or what, exactly.

    And many people DO think, unfortunately, that any random thinking leads to psychic coercion. I’m glad to have a chance to clear this up and also I do appreciate this link which is about “shoulding,” not random thoughts about family.

    Telling yourself “I should” is one of those very specific ways of getting psychic coercion stuck in your aura, as described along with the healing procedure in “Use Your Power of Command for Spiritual Cleansing and Protection.”

  30. 30
    Lilian says:

    Yes. Also am using iPad so that s where etching came from! Sorry. Michael Newton was simply a fuel to my shoulding at one time. As in, I should feel more connected to these people because xyz.

    On the other hand if we have a reason or inspiration to be more generous to certain people without resorting to shoulding ourselves, then more power to us! We could just decide to “shallow up” and have a surface level interaction.

  31. 31

    Beautifully put, LILIAN!

  32. 32
    Lilian says:

    inspirations to do something gladly is a much better way forward than the alternatives!

  33. 33
    Jem says:

    Thanks Lillian. I think the bravest thing I ever did was get up and show up at everyday places like the supermarket while I was still an unskilled empath!

    What an onslaught I was putting up with, in hindsight.

  34. 34
    Jem says:

    I really resonated with what you mentioned about incarnating as core soul groups and the psychological implications of that – another thing that could keep us trapped.

  35. 35
    Jem says:

    Because when I believed I deserved it, I kept it there.

    AND the awareness of other peoples’ judgment when you emancipate yourself from your birth family.

    I would go back and do it all again though, if I had to go in a time machine and plan this life again.

  36. 36
    Jem says:

    Now I can use the great tips Rose has written in the original post for Christmas lunch with my boyfriend’s family ;D

  37. 37
    David B says:

    Rose – quite right. How we are with what is arising makes a huge difference in how it plays out. If we’re holding our nose or holding our breath, it makes it hard to breathe.

    If we show a little compassion (but also have clear boundaries) it can really bring ease to everyone. Family events can be so full of backstory and habitual response. But if we can be somewhat neutral, such a relief.

  38. 38
    David B says:

    Another helper? Move away. (laughs)

    After my mother passed, my birth family dispersed.

    So now the awkward family dynamics and obligations are in the past. I can enjoy the holidays with good friends. There may be an awkward moment or 2 but those are mostly funny now.

    (and yes, there will be some family visits in there, but in small doses)

  39. 39
    David B says:

    This reminds me of what a friend discovered. It takes 2 to tango. When we let go of the old baggage with others, they’ll be inclined to drop it too.

    If you experience conflict, ask yourself what you can do to step out of that. Or just say No, I’m not going there.

  40. 40
    David B says:

    This does remind me – there was a time I had to set some boundaries. To break habitual relationship habits others had by calling them on it. They were not happy at first.

    But once they were conscious and reminded a few times we where able to develop an adult relationship. In one case, we had to withdraw until they conceded.

    That ended the old dynamics.

  41. 41
    David B says:

    Of course, this isn’t usually something to tackle at Xmas but it may be your only option.

    Family. Can’t live with them and can’t live with them. 🙂

  42. 42

    DAVID B, it’s hard to imagine anyone not treating you with great respect.

    Hey, I don’t even want to imagine. Too hard work. 😉

    Happy Holidays and Friends-Sharings for all of us!

  43. 43
    David B says:

    (laughs) well, Rose. I am someones little brother. And someones “baby” as my mother used to like to joke when introducing me (I’m quite a bit taller).

  44. 44
    Lilian says:

    It’s always a judgement call as to whether to keep someone in your life or not. As a side note, both my parents had a history of being socially awkward. Mainly because they didn’t have the opportunity to exercise their intelligence…

    The constant rejection from others definitely contributed to their problems. In the end, I realised that my kindness couldn’t single handedly undo the damage, and I couldn’t invest so much time into their lives.

  45. 45
    Lilian says:

    I’m back in touch with my Dad, who is awkward as heck, but means well.

    Being back in touch with my mum would require a bit more stability in my own life. But I don’t feel obliged, that would be an act of service using my free will.

  46. 46
    Lilian says:

    Anyways, a little more kindness can prevent and solve a lot of problems. We’re still mammals, the strong will always need to protect the weak.

    At the end of the day, I know I’m one of the strong. Like elephants. I’m sure there’re socially awkward elephants that the herd puts up with. :-p

  47. 47
    Lilian says:

    That was a bit of a tangent about elephants. But elephants are famous for sticking together.

  48. 48

    Such wisdom, Strong One!

  49. 49
    Christine says:

    I’m glad you guys have found a way to thrive without feeling tethered to your birth family. There are so many other relationships in life besides family (friends, boyfriends, acquaintances, blog buddies ?)

  50. 50
    Jem says:

    I had a fabulous win last night in this arena.

    I love it when evidence of my daily 20 (OK probably 30 sometimes) minute RES practice show up in tangible reality as actual real-life benefits.

  51. 51
    Jem says:

    This is a big deal to me after, oh, 15 yrs? of spiritual practice that DIMINISHED my physical acuity.

    So we had to attend a Christmas party with relatives of my boyfriend.

  52. 52
    Jem says:

    My before picture:

    I had these ‘feelers’ built into my aura that were constantly sussing out the environment and other people.

    I’d unconsciously feel into them, see what their reality is, then suck it all into myself.

    Unskilled empath.

  53. 53
    Jem says:


    All it did was make me powerless, vulnerable and confused.

    If one of them was in a bad mood? Disaster for me, I was sucked right in and had no vibrational defense or identity of my own.

  54. 54
    Jem says:

    If someone made a snide remark, it was like a whiplash energetically.

    If someone was stressed because they were hosting a huge Christmas party and feeling overwhelmed, I felt it all.

    My only solution was to try to avoid them, which then of course created feeling insulted on their part.

  55. 55
    Jem says:

    When hanging out with these particular people whose Christmas party it was last night, I’d always felt: on edge, drained, repressed, frightened, ashamed, shut down.

  56. 56
    Jem says:

    [Comment abbreviated my blog monitor. The gist is that JEM received help from a very personal experience with a Divine Being. At this blog it is not considered good form to share experiences like this.]

    So I can only feel me and finally have the right to my own reality, my own personal power, my own views and opinions.

  57. 57
    Jem says:

    After picture:

    I had in mind all the many things I’ve learned lately about self authority.

    I showed up, they were stressed, it didn’t affect me.

  58. 58
    Jem says:

    I could understand that was theirs, and they have that right, it’s totally fair, and it’s OK.

  59. 59
    Jem says:

    I helped cheerfully and genuinely enjoyed helping.

    I got a lot done to help them prepare for their party, very quickly.

  60. 60
    Jem says:

    The way they acted to me was completely different – or was I just not seeing them through my STUFF?

    They were glowing with kindness despite their stress and previous tantrums just minutes before I’d arrived.

  61. 61

    This is so lovely, JEM.

    A small technical point. To my knowledge, there is no such thing as a “vibrational defense.” (That was in Comment 53.)

    There’s so much knowledge about vibrational reality in “The New Strong.” I think it’s great when people understand vibrational, or vibrational frequency, to mean “Type of energy.” I’m trying to fine-tune the usage you did here, that’s all.

  62. 62

    And speaking of fine-tuning, I’d like to make a teaching point for everyone about something that slipped out in your Comment #50.

    “my daily 20 (OK probably 30 sometimes) minute RES practice”

  63. 63

    Whatever you’re doing during that 20 Daily Minutes of Technique Time, Tops. And it sure doesn’t have to be skills from my books. What matters is that it’s your sacred time for whatever you like…

    Anyway, that time of 20 minutes each day is not some arbitrary figure. If you often do 30 minutes, or “Just two hours” or “Only half my day,” the result can be the same — spiritual addiction.

  64. 64

    You may not have been given a God-flavored GPS, but surely you can find yourself a clock or watch or mobile phone that displays the time.

    So please do use it.

    Otherwise, JAMIE, what a perfectly delightful teaching tale you shared with us all! Thank you.

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