Dear Bah Humbug;
I feel your pain my friend. And some extra pain as well ’cause I’m sick for the first time in four years because someone decided that coming to work sick and spreading their germs was a good idea. Thus i find myself in misery as I write this. Physical misery from a stuffed up nose and mental misery from hearing Christmas music.
Here’s the key to understanding why your family is butt-hurt. People don’t like it when you don’t behave the way they want you to behave. I have preached the Word for years – “You can’t control other people, you can only control yourself and your responses.” – people who are losers still want to control other people.
And the more of a loser someone is the more they desire to control other people. This is compensation for their own failure. The less one can control their own life they more the desire to control other people’s lives. You have decided not to do what other people want you to do. Expect stormy weather.
Expect stormy weather because these losers are like children. When they don’t get their way the tantrums will begin. And how do you deal with children who throw tantrums?
Duct tape their mouths over and toss them in a closet.
No. Just kidding. What you actually do is take them out to a bar and let them run wild. But speaking of running wild, let’s get back to your family.
Here is what will never occur to your family. The fact that you are someone who dislikes the holiday season has at least something to do with them. You didn’t pop out of the womb hating Christmas. Some life experiences sent you in that direction. Maybe those experiences had something to do with your family.
Maybe they didn’t.
But maybe they did.
No one ever likes to ask the question “What did I contribute to this situation.” That’s why I always remind people to ask themselves “what did I contribute to this situation”. Maybe your family should spend less time being butt-hurt and more time examining their own actions.
But there is nothing you and I can do to make that happen.
Because . . .
We can’t control other people.
Speaking of controlling yourself, you’ve made your choice. You should stick to it. It isn’t worth participating this year to get them off your back as that will only send the message that you are not serious about your declared intentions of avoiding the holiday season. Thus next year they will assume pressuring you into participating with work since it worked the year before.
Families (and children, and employees, and lovers, and enemies, and bosses, and coworkers, and politicians) are like dogs. The behaviour you reward is the behaviour you will get more of.
Giving in and reversing your decision in order to put salve on their butts would be the worst course of action ever.
Speaking of bad ways to spend your time . . .
How do you make them understand? You don’t. You don’t even waste any moment of your finite life attempting the impossible. If they are “overbearing” as you say it’s likely they lack any sort of awareness of the external world or other people. Overbearing people by nature are not very aware of other peoples emotions, responses, wants, needs, desires . . . or existence. Overbearing people don’t see the world from the perspective of others. Everything filters from their point of view, their needs, their emotions.
Rather like children. Which brings us back to duct tape.
On top of that you can’t make them understand . . .
. . . because . . .
. . . you can’t control other people!
I know it’s tempting to want other people to understand your world view but it’s not likely they ever will. And that’s just something you’ve got to learn to accept.
One possible recourse you could try is this. Agree to participate in Christmas fun, but only if your conditions are met. Then make sure your conditions are so outlandish they can’t be met. Or if they are met it would be worth your time to suffer through all the holiday cheer.
It’s a bit of an exploitive approach but considering you are dealing with selfish butt-hurt children I don’t see anything wrong with this approach. I’m a big fan of treating people the way they deserve to be treated based on their actions as opposed to the way they desire to be treated.