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The Holidays are coming: Can You Handle Them or Will They Handle You?

Dr. JoAnne Barge

Dr. JoAnne Barge

By Dr. JoAnne Barge

With the Thanksgiving holiday right around the corner, we start the slow methodical progression toward what is, for many, the most stressful time of the year: The Holidays.

Families will be together, in the pressure-cooker of close quarters, and while the proximity has the intended goal of a renewed sense of connection, it unfortunately often ends up with the question of why we put ourselves through the ringer year after year.

Dr. Joanne Barge, a licensed Psychologist based in Los Angeles CA has some tips on how families can better cope with arguments over everything from who the better cook is to which football game to watch; arguments which really are more about underlying tension than the topic at hand.

“Much of the reason we have difficulty with family members stems from a deep-seeded desire to be seen & understood for who we are. When we want to be heard and this doesn’t happen, we feel hurt, rejected and anxious which can easily turn into anger,” explains Dr. Barge.

One of the ways this can manifest is in an argument about who is right. Nothing can be more sabotaging than the need to be right! It is a good idea to ask yourself rather you would prefer to be happy or right? If you want to be happy & enjoy your holiday, forget right, perceptions usually differ & right has nothing to do with anything except ego.

Dr. Barge says, “The key is to let go, find ways to validate yourself beforehand & expect to deal with differing points of view.”

  • Set realistic expectations: The dynamic in any family system has a long history and likely will not change on this one day. Don’t expect it to. And don’t expect the aunt who always says something nasty to be nice this year.
  • Set boundaries: If Uncle Sal usually gets to his third gin and tonic by 2 p.m. and by 3 p.m. the train is coming off the rails, plan to leave at the first sign things are getting out of control.
  • Practice a change of perspective, try to detach with love i.e., Care about your loved ones but detach yourself from the things that bother you so much!
  • Do not attempt to ‘control’ the interaction: Dysfunctional family members view this as a rationale to act even more abusive because you’ve just signaled that you are in the ring and ready to rumble!
  • Practice staying in touch with your own inner source of ‘power’: Sometimes all it takes is a trip to the bathroom to take a deep breathe and remind yourself of a few select quotes that calm you down. Give yourself permission to feel what you feel, but avoid reacting. Don’t jump into the ring (if there is one) but instead decide to look for the best in others.
  • Practice active listening: Focus on what the other person has to say, don’t interrupt, show interest and don’t give advice unless you are asked for it. If all else fails and someone is telling you you’re the worst Yahtzee player that ever lived, a simple response of “you may be right” will diffuse the situation and then you can exit the activity without having to dump the iced tea pitcher on their head!
  • Finally, try to bring the attitude & spirit with you that you would like to see in others & just maybe it will catch fire.

Dr. JoAnne Barge obtained her PhD in Psychology from the University of California Los Angeles and is licensed as both a Psychologist and as a Marriage and Family Therapist. She specializes in the treatment of addictions and in the family members of addicts and alcoholics. Dr. Barge also provides specialized treatment for depression, anxiety, panic disorders, marital or relationship problems, family of origin conflicts and attachment and loss. Her private practice is located in Brentwood, Los Angeles.

Dream BIG. Dream with Intention, Creatively, and Purpose

Ezekiel Azonwu is a spoken word artist that performs all across the globe. He is most commonly seen at P4CM events and during P4CM’s annual Rhetoric event.

Ezekiel Azonwu is a spoken word artist that performs all across the globe. He is most commonly seen at P4CM events and during P4CM’s annual Rhetoric event.

SAN BERNARDINO, CA- Calling all of the creative minds and those who support the creative arts. On Saturday, November 22 at California State University San Bernardino, Momentum will be held. The night will be filled a grand creative arts festival featuring a live band and dancers and spoken word from Ezekiel Azonwu and several others.

The doors open at 7 p.m. and the show will start promptly at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $5 for students with I.D. and $10 for pre-sale tickets. Tickets are $15 at the door. To purchase pre-sale tickets please visit Jointhemomentum.eventbrite.com. Cal State San Bernardino is located at 5500 University Parkway in San Bernardino.

Christopher Williams, DJ Quik, and others to perform at Soul2Soul Concert

DJ Quik

DJ Quik

LOS ANGELES, CA- Enjoy a night of old school hip-hop, rap, and R&B. On Saturday, November 29, the Eventporium will be presenting the classic Soul2Soul concert series starring Club Nouveau, Christopher Williams, Loose Ends (featuring Jane Eugene), Whodini, and DJ Quik at the Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center located at 1935 Manhattan Beach Blvd. in Redondo Beach (90278). Each of these artists dominated the music scene in the late 1980s and early 1990s and are considered pioneers of the R&B and Hip-Hop genre.

Whodini gained national praise after signing with Jive Records in 1982, by releasing chart topping albums Escape, Back in Black, and Open Sesame, garnering 2 Platinum and 1 Gold certifications respectively.

Club Nouveau

Club Nouveau

British R&B trio Loose Ends rose to stardom in 1985 with the release of their single “Hangin’ on a String” that ranked #1 on the Billboard Charts in the U.S., making them the first British Group to do so.

Releasing their debut album in 1986 entitled Life, Love & Pain, R&B group Club Nouveau went platinum with four hits making it into the top 10 spots on the Billboard Charts consecutively. Their 1987 rendition of “Lean on Me” by Bill Wither’s earned the group a Grammy.

Christopher Williams

Christopher Williams

Christopher Williams’ single, “I’m Dreamin,” featured on the New Jack City Soundtrack (in which he also acted in) immediately hit #1 on the U.S. Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Charts.

With over 22 years, 80+ single production credits and 2 platinum/gold certifications, DJ Quik created his stage name on his speedy record production.

Doors will open at 7 p.m., and the show will starts promptly at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $35 and can be purchased on Eventporium.com, Goldstar.com, or Inglewoodtickets.com. Tickets may also be purchased by phone by calling (818) 272 – 8878.

A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Youth Edutainment League (Y.E.L. Program), which intends to decrease at-risk behavior. As a result, youth between the ages of 12 and 18 are offered hands-on programs that will teach them the inner-workings of the entertainment community.

 

Loose Ends

Loose Ends

Whodini

Whodini