When Difficult Relatives Happen to Good People: Surviving Your Family and Keeping Your Sanity

When Difficult Relatives Happen to Good People: Surviving Your Family and Keeping Your Sanity

by Leonard Felder
     
 

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When Difficult Relatives Happen to Good People

For every holiday, wedding, funeral, or birth of a child, families gather for what are supposed to be times of celebration or remembrance. But often these gatherings create more stress and conflict than joy and connection. When Difficult Relatives Happen to Good People speaks to those who look forward

Overview

When Difficult Relatives Happen to Good People

For every holiday, wedding, funeral, or birth of a child, families gather for what are supposed to be times of celebration or remembrance. But often these gatherings create more stress and conflict than joy and connection. When Difficult Relatives Happen to Good People speaks to those who look forward to family gatherings but also dream being around certain relatives. The opinionated aging parent, the bigoted uncle, the brother who drinks too much, the cousin who flaunts her money and status--all of these characters appear in the sometimes humorous but always instructive stories throughout this book. Based on years of researching family conflict, Dr. Felder offers practical advice about how to make the most of your heartfelt connections with the family members you love while staying clear of the toxic ones.

Full of specific recommendations for every kind of family situation, from religious disagreements and sibling rivalries to drug, alcohol, and gambling problems, When Difficult Relatives Happen to Good People describes with witty, inspiring examples how to identify when to step in and when to step back, how to avoid feeling like a martyr, and how to stay relaxed in situations that once would have made you cringe.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Felder, a psychologist and author of Making Peace with Your Parents, notes that people can learn to live with their annoying and difficult relatives, but not by trying to change them. Instead, by figuring out what triggers certain behavior patterns, people can be more accepting and also devise compromises. Using situations from his life as well as examples from his patients, Felder walks readers through the kinds of analysis and solutions they should seek. For example, one matriarch insists on serving Thanksgiving dinner late in the day, when some relatives have already drunk too much and the children are overtired. The woman insists this is the way the holiday has always been celebrated. Finally, her children ask her to try an "experiment" and for one year, start the dinner earlier. The evening turns out to be far more pleasant, and afterwards, relatives call, thanking her for such an enjoyable dinner. Another strategy favored by Felder is to find allies. A woman always has to listen to relatives talk about calories and dieting. She asks her grandfather to help her. He announces a moratorium on discussing food, and the family ends up having conversations about other matters. Felder's tips are practical as he offers specific suggestions on what to say, but what makes his approach so helpful is his assumption that there is no perfect resolution; instead, readers should aim for a middle ground. This is an excellent book for anyone looking for fewer arguments and less tension around family members. (Nov.) Forecast: With publication timed before Thanksgiving and Christmas, and a 20-city satellite tour, sales should be strong. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781594862274
Publisher:
Rodale Press, Inc.
Publication date:
05/06/2005
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
304
Product dimensions:
5.95(w) x 8.29(h) x 0.81(d)

Meet the Author

Leonard Felder, Ph.D., is a licensed psychologist and coauthor of the best-selling Making Peace with Your Parents. As a recognized national expert on improving difficult family situations, his books have sold more than a million copies and have been translated into fourteen languages. Dr. Felder has appeared on Oprah, NBC News, CNN, CBS' The Early Show, A.M. Canada, National Public Radio, and ABC Talkradio. He lives in Los Angeles.

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