The Lions’ Den: A Survivalist Guide To Holidays


Why do you need to be a survivalist during the holidays? We love to be with our family, but we hate the conflict. We can’t stay away and have to brace ourselves before walking into holiday family gatherings. It can feel like entering a lions’ den.

Walking through the lions’ den successfully requires being more of a survivalist than a lion trainer.

Retraining and restoration are best served in off-season times and with a little help from a counselor. Here are a few tips that just might help you become a survivalist, while embracing your role in personal growth and better relationship patterns.

  • Tip 1: A survivalist decides ahead of time what their boundaries are. Note to self: you are only responsible for yourself. No matter how difficult your relative might be, it is your choice to enter the conflict or to stay responsible to your own best behavior practices.
  • Tip 2: A survivalist observes conflict rather than engaging. This can be a true game changer. When dear Aunt Suzy roars and her words claw at you, say nothing and think, “interesting.” It’s counterintuitive, but being a successful survivalist in the lion’s den often requires being an observer, rather than a participant.
  • Tip 3: A survivalist perseveres. Sometimes no matter how hard we try the dynamics do not change. The key to a successful lions’ den experience is to maintain who you have decided to be. If the outcome is not exactly what you had hoped for, try again. Peace comes with practice. Lion’s den or not, they are the only family we have.

Wishing you a wonderful holiday season ahead!

Sheri Schulze, LAPC
sschulze @