Wednesday, 23 November 2011

How To Survive Holiday Gatherings & Avoid An Aneurysm

By Paula Renaye

Hi Friends! Since the holidays are in full swing this week in the US, I thought you might enjoy seeing these family gathering survival tips that I am talking about on hundreds of radio shows throughout the holidays. If you happen to hear me, please let me know. There are more tips on my website, And, there is an ultra-short super sale on for the Kindle version of The Hardline Self Help Handbook ($0.99 US, $0.86 UK). Get it and give it now! Okay, now to those tips that could keep you from replaying the same old family dramas and squabbles when you go home for the holidays!
How to Survive Holiday Gatherings & Avoid an Aneurysm
For those of us from families built on Debbie Downer DNA, there’s only one direction a mood can go during holiday get-togethers and that’s down. Whether you’re the smiley face among frowners, or a bit of a Depressing Dan yourself, there are tricks you can use to keep the table talk from getting lethal, says Paula Renaye, a professional life coach and author of “The Hardline Self Help Handbook,” (

“You can take control simply by thinking about what you choose to say – or not say,” Renaye says. “If you hear yourself criticizing, judging or complaining, you’re part of the problem. Happy, self-respecting people don’t find it necessary to dump on others to make themselves feel good. If someone else is the problem, simply don’t give them the ammunition they need,” she says. Instead try these tactics:
  • Do not say anything negative. Period. And no one-downing! One-downing is the opposite of one-upping. It’s the art of coming up with something worse when someone else talks about their problem.
  • Do not talk about yourself. The only reason negative people care about what you’re up to is because they want something to ridicule, brag or gossip about to make themselves look or feel good. Whether you just earned your third PhD or filed for bankruptcy, don’t go there.
  • Do your homework and become like Teflon. Why are you going? Get clear on what you expect to get out of the deal and then figure out what you need to accomplish that. If you've been cornered and questioned and felt on the defensive before, it's time to clear things up before you get there so you don't have to do it again. Start hacking away at the jungle of your own emotions and figure out what's really going on. If you're still waiting for someone to approve or validate you, or give you an "atta girl," you’re in for a long wait. Even if you just discovered a new solar system, it's going to get a lukewarm reaction at best because you turned your back on the family dog grooming business. So, don't set yourself up to be miserable. Get over it and go prepared.
  • Use the 3Ds--Dodge, Distract and Detour. Just because someone asks you a question doesn't mean you have to answer it. Questions like, "Oh, dear, how are you holding up since that scoundrel you married ran off with that tramp?" do not deserve answers. Use the 3Ds instead: "Oh, how kind of you to be thinking about me, you've always been so thoughtful and supportive, like when you always made brownies when I came to your house. I have wanted to ask you for that recipe for ages." You dodged the question, distracted with something else and detoured away from a potentially unpleasant conversation into one that focused on a positive moment."
  • Make a Happy List--Make a list of the people you expect to see and write out interests or memories that you can pull from to use as "distracts" in case you get cornered. Write out some general topics as well that can be used for generic situations. Do it--you'll be glad you did.
Remember, you know these people and you know what usually happens when they get together. When you see them gearing up to replay old dramas, vow to not go there with them. If you don't play your regular role, the show can't go on as usual--the pattern is disrupted. That doesn't mean you have to police the situation, just be absolutely certain that you don't contribute to it in any way. Go back to the rules: no negative talk--period--and use the 3Ds over and over. Don't do what you've always done and enjoy your family more than you ever have!
* * * *

Paula Renaye is a motivational speaker, certified professional life coach and a member of the International Association of Coaches. She has a background in psychology, financial planning and journalism. The Hardline Self Help Handbook is the winner of four 2011 Book Awards and is recommended by mental health professionals as "All the benefits of serious therapy in one book!" ( Visit


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Books Sold - 6 Nov 2011 to 31 May 2012

Some of you have asked me for my total number of books sold to evaluate KDP Select so here it is. Bear in mind, that results will vary based on genre and author. Good luck and remember, Keep Moving Forward.

Total - 120,836

1. Excuse Me, My Brains Have Stepped Out
Amazon Kindle - 42,559
Paperback -
Smashwords -

2. Frequent Traveller
Amazon Kindle - 35277
Paperback -
Smashwords -

3. Dora's Essentials - Books, Blogs & Smiles 1
Amazon Kindle - 462
Smashwords -

4. Mirror Me Martha (Short Story)
Amazon Kindle - 281
Smashwords -

5. Drive On Hope (Short Story)
Amazon Kindle - 190
Smashwords -

6. Blog-A-Licious Directory 2012
Amazon Kindle - 1
Smashwords -

7. Pandora's Reading Room 1
Amazon Kindle -
Paperback - N/A

8. The Cat That Barked (Short Story)
Amazon Kindle -

9. Dora's Essentials - Examining Anxiety
Amazon Kindle -

10. Dora's Essentials - Books, Blogs & Smiles 2
Amazon Kindle -

11. Elevenses from Around the World
Amazon Kindle -

12. Genetically Modified Foods vs. Sustainability
Amazon Kindle -

Blog-A-Licius - Sherbet Blossom



Dealightfully Frugal

Blog-A-Licious - The Few, The Proud, The Wife


My Soul Slippers

Blog-A-Licous - Textbook Mommy

Blog-A-Licious - Blue Frogs Legs

Blog-A-Licious - Pretty All True

Pretty All True

Blog-A-Licious - tbaoo



Powered by

Blog-A-Licious - The Invisible Art

Blog-A-Licious - Rediscovering Domesticity

Rediscovering Domesticity

Blog-A-Licious - Quiver Full

Blog-A-Licious - Cori's Big Mouth

Blog-A-Licious - Great Fun


Blog-A-Licious - Busy Wife

Blog-A-Licious - Steps To Happiness

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Blog-A-Licious - Toby & Max

Blog-A-Licious - Amelie

Raising Amelie

Blog-A-Licious - Peas In A Pod

Blog-A-Licious - Riley

Blognostics - Poetry


My Awards - September 2010

My Awards - September 2010
Awarded By Jo Frances

My Awards - May 2011

My Awards - May 2011
Awarded By Alejandro Guzman

My Awards - May 2011

My Awards - May 2011
Awarded by Kriti Mukherjee

My Awards - April 2011

My Awards - April 2011
Awarded By Roy Durham

My Awards - June 2011

My Awards - June 2011
Awarded By Sulekha Rawat

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