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Health & Balance

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How to Avoid the 'Demons' of Summer

Tips for keeping your cool when obnoxious behavior tries to ruin your summer fun.
WebMD Feature
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

We're all familiar with friends or relatives who can ruin the best summer plans with bouts of rude or overbearing behavior: the "bridezilla" who destroys anyone who gets in the way of her perfect summer wedding; the in-laws who announce they'll be coming for a visit -- for July and August; or the bully at the public swimming pool who insists on trying to drown your son.

These summer demons seem determined to throw a serious wrench in your summer fun. But before you throw in the beach towel and put away the suntan lotion, check out WebMD's summer-saving tips on managing some of the worst offenders of the hot-weather season.

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The Bridezilla

She's getting married at the end of June and she's going to have the wedding day of her dreams. And anyone who is crazy enough to get in her way will suffer the wrath of the bridezilla.

"The bridezilla is a perfectionist, self-absorbed nightmare of a person," says Allison Moir-Smith, author of Emotionally Engaged: A Bride's Guide to Surviving the "Happiest" Time of Her Life. "It's someone whose behavior is completely out of character, but there is so much going on in her life, what she doesn't know is that she's attaching all of her stress and feeling and angst to the wedding itself."

The bridezilla, Moir-Smith explains, is undergoing a tremendous period of flux in her life. She's going from girlfriend to wife, daughter to daughter-in-law, single and care-free to married with responsibilities --forever. And all the stress she is feeling is funneled right into the wedding day.

Avoiding a Wedding Meltdown

Rather than obsessing over how the napkins are folded and floral centerpieces arranged, help her remember that it's not the wedding that is important -- it's the marriage. Here are tips to help her exorcise the bridezilla demon:

  • "She should choose 5 things that are essential for her to have in their wedding," says Moir-Smith. "For everyone that list will be different. Maybe it's the musicians, the dress, or the cake. Then let go of the rest and enjoy the day.
  • "Let the wedding have its own soul," Moir-Smith tells WebMD. "She shouldn't try to control every detail that she can't predict or plan for.
  • "Help her work through her feelings and accept them. She is going through a powerful and profound change, and once she realizes that, it helps make all the wedding stress relative," says Moir-Smith.
  • "A good friend can help the bride by not complaining about the bridesmaid dress," says Moir-Smith. "It's more effective and helpful to talk to the bride about her feelings, and changes in her life."

With the bridezilla demons under control, at least until the DJ calls to cancel a week before the wedding, her friends can get back to enjoying their summer.

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