Dealing with Family over Holidays with Dr. Toni

Workshop Recap with Self-Love & Relationship Coach @drtooni

xinyi @ don't be strangers
2 min readDec 7, 2022


How to maintain your inner peace and calm when having to see difficult family members over the holidays.

If you missed this #NovemberWellnessChallenge workshop, here’s a quick summary:

Dr. Toni Liu reviewed some examples of responses you can give that are respectful, de-escalating, vague, or neutral enough to protect your privacy while also honoring the other person who asks about you.

Know that it usually comes from a good intentions or a well-meaning place, but it is also completely up to you how much of yourself you choose to share or give to that person.

Favorite quote:

“We all need family. Biology/blood doesn’t necessarily define family, without kindness and respect. You can CHOOSE your family out of love, not obligation.”

Some key tools:

  • Grey Rock method
  • Deflection (ask about them)
  • Decline/say no but end on a positive or thank them for thinking of or caring about you

If you missed this workshop, consider:

  • What repeating conflicts come up in your family? How do YOU contribute to this dynamic? What can you do differently (if you change YOUR steps in the dance, the outcome will be different, even if they never change).
  • What win-win solutions or overlap can you find between your values and those of the person you are dealing with? How can you access more compassion or empathy for that person?
  • What support do you need to navigate these difficult times? Chosen family? Trusted friends? Therapist, coach, or other support person dedicated to you? Don’t hesitate to reach out for help. It’s a sign of STRENGTH, not weakness.

If you have any questions or want to learn more about the topic, feel free to reach out to Toni herself on instagram @drtooni and tell her that Don’t Be Strangers sent you! 🤗



xinyi @ don't be strangers

musings of a creative chimera + nowhere girl🌙🐉 ✨ illustrator, videographer, whatev-er. 📍 somewhere between knowing & searching (host of @dontbestrangers pod)