Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

Curious and Curiouser Podcast

Nov 8, 2017

How do you make the most of challenging family dynamics during obligatory holiday events?


Good question, huh? On this week’s episode of Curious & Curiouser, Tracey and Cayly are attempting to answer it and offering some advice about how to set compassionate boundaries with family members as the holiday season approaches.


This conversation is full of practical, actionable tips from Tracey, who is very knowledgeable and skilled when it comes to family systems and helping folks navigate challenging family relationships. And Cayly shares some thoughts about what’s worked for her in trying to adjust to some changing family dynamics in her own life over the past couple of years.


Tracey and Cayly hope this discussion is helpful for those of you who might be dreading the holidays and are unsure about what to do differently this year to make the most out of the obligatory family functions that are often a part of the season.


As always, reviews and 5-star ratings are appreciated, so if you enjoy this episode and find it insightful, enjoyable, and/or amusing, please consider hopping over to the show page in iTunes to tell other folks how much you’re loving this podcast. Tracey and Cayly would really appreciate it!


Highlights from this episode:


- The obligatory feeling that often arises around the holidays

- Do you get to opt out of holiday events?

- The importance of having reasonable, clear expectations

- What if you’re the one who always has to travel to see family?

- Family systems theory and the challenge of breaking out of old family patterns and dynamics

- Make a plan ahead of time, especially for dealing with “grey couch people” in your family

- Should you talk to your kids about challenging family dynamics? (i.e. A mother-in-law who isn’t kind to your partner.)

- The importance of compassion with boundaries

- The Boundary Book by

- John Gottman and the Gottman Institute (

- The benefit of therapy as preventative medicine in anticipation of the holidays

- What if you’re the one who’s always accommodating your family?

- Is it ok to ignore the elephant in the room temporarily during holiday events?

- Forgive For Good by Fred Luskin (

- Episode 33 about fear and relinquishing control (

- Dear Sugars podcast ( ) about parent estrangement (

- Tracey advice for how curiosity can help you navigate holiday events with family?

- And more!