Dear Dee,

Going home at the end of the semester makes me very stressed. Home has never been a happy place for me because of a dysfunctional family and all the arguing they do. I know they mean well, but they judge everything I do and it just stresses me to the max. How do I deal with it for the whole break?

Stressed out

Dear Stressed Out,

Have you ever seen the movie, “The Family Stone”? If not, I suggest you pick up a copy and watch it because you will see that you are not alone in this scenario. We’ve heard people throughout our lives saying that every family has its problems. Of course, we always figured that was a polite way to make the people with crazy families feel better, but believe it or not, it is true! Every family does have its problems. However, this doesn’t mean that it’s easy to be around family 24/7 for a few months, or even weeks (especially when your little brother chases you around with his boogers that he threatens to wipe on your new motorcycle jacket). But when it feels like your head is going to explode, take a deep breath and remember, they are your family. For better or for worse, they are related to you, and they truly love you (even your little brother, who does mean well).

When things get overwhelming, it’s perfectly normal to escape to your room for a bit, read a book, take a nap, call a friend, or watch some TV. Everyone needs his or her alone time, and if you need a little more alone time than usual when at home, why not take it? When you are with your family at a big family dinner or a group outing, try and think about where you are and get wrapped up in the positivity of your family, instead of the negative aspects. All families fight, (like I said, refer to “The Family Stone”) it’s only natural. This doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have somewhat of a draining effect on the people not involved in the actual fight. It’s hard to see people you love fighting. Next time a fight erupts, try and tell the people involved, “I really hope you two can talk this out because it makes me sad when you fight.” Showing them that their fighting stresses you out can help put things in perspective for them as well.

All in all, every family can be somewhat dysfunctional at times, but that’s what happens when you’re with the people who matter the most to you. Since there is so much love, there is so much passion, so little arguments are more likely to break out. But the key word here is love. No matter what, your family loves you, and if you need space or want to vent they will gladly listen. If not? Try chasing your brother around with your boogers; maybe he’ll get a taste of his own medicine.

Disclaimer: This column is for entertainment only. The author is a student, not a licensed therapist, and this column is not intended to take the place of professional advice. The views expressed are the author’s and are not necessarily shared by The Mirror or its staff.

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