Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Paula Renaye - Holiday Tips to Dodge Family Drama

Holiday Tips to Dodge Family Drama
by Paula Renaye

If you’ve ever dreaded going home for the holidays, you aren’t alone. The blissful family images portrayed in the media aren’t the reality for most of us, but you can find your own version of holiday bliss by following these simple tips adapted from award-winning author Paula Renaye’s new self-help book, Living the Life You Love: The No-Nonsense Guide to Total Transformation:

Get clear on why you’re going in the first place. Obligation, guilt or “if only” wishes of finally getting that pat on the back you’ve always wanted aren’t good setups for happy times. Make peace with the past and stop looking to others to make you feel good about yourself. Then, you can choose to go—or not—for the right reasons.

Take a pre-trip negativity inventory. You may realize your relatives are card-carrying members of The Gray Cloud Crowd, but are you certain you’re totally out of the swamp? Start paying attention to your thoughts and words; listen to your complaints, criticisms and judgments. Cleaning up your own habits now will help you stay rooted on the positive side when you’re in the thick of things with family.

Replay old family dramas before you go. You know what people and situations put your tail in a twist, so think about it ahead of time and figure out new ways of dealing with it. If you don’t do what you’ve always done, the same old things can’t happen—and you can keep smiling instead of being caught up in the old junk.

Do not share your woes. When you’re in a tough place, it’s tempting to find a shoulder to cry on—any shoulder—don’t do it. Talking about your troubles in a group setting is a bad idea. Telling negative people what’s wrong in your life is a horrible one. You might get a microsecond of sympathy, but that’s only so they can launch into telling you how much worse they have it. Or, they’ll repeat your sad tale to everyone they know so they can feel better about themselves. So, regardless of what is going on in your life, your answer to the “how are you” question is, “Great!”

Be genuinely interested in others. If you choose to go to an event, go with the agenda of enjoying reconnecting with the people who will be there. Look for the good in each and honor that. However, just because you’re looking at their good side, don’t expect them to be anyone but who they are—a snake will always be a snake. Just choose to interact with them on your terms and keep yourself positive. And, you might be surprised how much you really do enjoy it when your focus is on making others feel appreciated instead of trying to get validation for yourself.

Use the 3-Ds—Dodge, Distract and Detour. Just because someone asks you a question doesn't mean you have to answer it. Questions such as, “Tell me, dear, is your husband still with that little tramp he left you for?” do not deserve answers. Yes, you could fire off a snappy comeback, and if that brings you peace, go for it. Another option is to use the 3-Ds instead. “Oh, you’re always thinking of others. I remember when I was kid, you always had brownies for me when I came over to your house. I loved those brownies! What did you put in those that made them so good?” You dodged the question, distracted with something else and detoured the conversation to a positive topic.

Make a Happy List. Since you may not always have a brownie memory handy, make a list of the people you expect to see and write out their interests and things you can talk about in case you get cornered. Have some general topics too—no politics, religion or sex, of course—just interesting recent events to keep the conversation moving in a positive direction. Make the list—you'll be glad you did. Keep a copy by the phone too!

Once you make peace with the past, and yourself, the rest is easy. Being clear on what you want to do—and why—and making conscious choices because of it are huge stress relievers. Figure out what makes a happy holiday for you and do it on purpose!

Paula Renaye is a tough-love media expert and five-time award-winning author of Living the Life You Love: The No-Nonsense Guide to Total Transformation. Visit her blog at
NOTE: Email me for your special Personal Transformation Workshop Application (with a special discount) at



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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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