"Christmas time," explains the psychologist Oliver James, "is a fixed ritual setting which triggers historic enmities like nothing else...
"The shit really hits the fan at this time of year...
To avoid the usual tensions, Oliver James suggests that we identify what role we occupy in our family, then do the exact opposite.
Recently I was at a Christmas party, feeling reasonably jolly and beneficent, when a lady came up to me and said that I looked rather unhappy.
As the lady looked utterly miserable, I assumed that this was an example of what Sigmund Freud called 'projection'.
'Projection' is when someone, unconsciously, projects their own negative feelings onto someone else.
For example, the person who is 'mean' may accuse other people of being mean.
It is a defense mechanism.
Freud explained that some people find it difficult to accept that they have undesirable attributes.
The person's 'ego' splits off its own undesirable attributes and dumps them onto someone else.
Freud explained that the very insecure person might choose to project their own great insecurity onto whoever shows the slightest sign of not being totally confident.
Watching out for the CIA-Mossad in Indonesia.
Carl Jung explained that 'projection' can take place at a local, national and international level.
The bad tempered parent blames the child for being bad tempered.
The bisexual school bully accuses other children of being bisexual.
The incompetent management blames the workers for being incompetent.
The ruthless criminal fascists blame all the world's problems on the Moslems, Jews, French or whoever seems like a useful scapegoat.
Christmas in Indonesia.
Carl Jung believed that we all have a dark side, which he called the 'Shadow'.
The philosopher Ludwig Feuerbach believed that some people 'project' some of their own attributes onto God.
Thus the unscrupulous warrior projects onto his god the quality of being an unscrupulous warrior.
The historian John Demos believes that in Salem, in 1692, the young girls were projecting their own anger onto the older women who were accused of being witches.
Christmas in the trenches, when the Brits and Germans stopped projecting evil.
Jung believed that "All projections provoke counter-projection."
For example: the incompetent teacher blames the pupil for being incompetent.
The child then subconsciously picks up on the role expected of him and becomes more incompetent.
'Projection' may give temporary relief from anxiety, but at the cost of a certain dissociation, as in dissociative identity disorder.
Dissociative identity disorder (multiple personality disorder) is usually the effect of severe trauma during early childhood, usually extreme, repetitive physical, sexual, or emotional abuse.
Children need to be LOVE-BOMBED.
Oliver James is in favour of 'love bombing' for children.
He argues that feeling loved is a better remedy than dishing out rules and punishment.
"In fact, feeling loved is far more important for childhood discipline than rule-making and punishment.
"At the heart of the matter is that a sense of being satisfied only comes from having demands met - needy, aggressive behaviour comes from feeling dissatisfied."
(Love bombing kids to get happy results thetelegraph.com.au)