We have all seen the ads on TV showing happy families coming together to celebrate Christmas, large groups of cheerful party-goers for New Years Eve and all the other marketing campaigns that roll out at this time of the year…but in reality a lot of people feel very stressed during the festive season, often taking it out on the people closest to them. So what can we do to avoid arguments and unnecessary tension at this time of the year (and for the rest of the year too)?
Step 1. Stay Connected. Whether you are single or in a relationship, work from home or part of a large organisation, from a small family or a My Big Fat Greek Wedding sized family, having meaningful connections with others is important to every person across the globe. Feeling isolated and alone can add to the distress experienced at this time of the year, however there is a solution. Instead of waiting to be included in party invites or waiting to hear from others, take the initiative to call, text, email or visit friends and family members who are supportive and positive.
“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” ~George Bernard Shaw
Step 2. Communicate, Communicate, Communicate! It can be very easy to fall into the trap of assuming that our nearest and dearest know what we have planned, what we are thinking and what we are feeling. The reality is that unless you are a bona-fide psychic, you are not going to be able to read another person’s mind. Effective communication is the essential ingredient in ensuring everyone is on the same page, thus avoiding arguments and misunderstandings.
Step 3. Ask “What Would Love Do?” If you feel an argument coming on, instead of fuelling the fire, or escalating things – ask yourself “what would love do?”. Coming from a place of love softens your approach to people and situations, and can be the difference between laughing off a mistake and blowing it up to be bigger than Ben Hur.
Step 4. Express Your Emotions! Bottling up feelings when you first feel them and stockpiling / storing them for later can be a recipe for disaster. The sooner you express your feelings, the less likely it will be that things will escalate to an explosion. Sometimes things just need to be verbalised and most arguments can be avoided if the other person understands how you feel.
There are many more ways to avoid arguments and enjoy the festive season (and the rest of the year) with loved ones. If you’d like to know more please feel free to contact me.