Some families suffer from it around the holidays whether it is old family baggage or a cramped house with company during the holidays. It’s much easier said than done for everyone to “just get along.” But, this is the time of year to expand your patience!
So how exactly do we avoid these conflicts?
JenningsWire features Psychologist and Life Coach, Amy Johnson, Ph.D of DrAmyJohnson.com. Dr. Johnson is the author ofModern Enlightenment: Psychological, Spiritual, and Practical Ideas for a Better Life and she shares the following five tips on how to maintain the peace during the Holiday season:
Accept them for who they are
Tip 1: Work on accepting them exactly as they are. It’s Number 1 for a reason. It’s at the root of everything, and it’s also probably the most difficult thing on the list. A gigantic proportion of your frustration comes from wanting others to be different than they are. You know you can’t change them-wishing for them to act the way you would act only drives you crazy.
You are only in control of yourself, not others
Tip 2: Don’t take things so personally; it’s really not about you. It’s not-their stuff is about them, not you. If they disapprove of the date you brought, start pressuring you to find a job, don’t thank you for the gift you spent hours picking out, that’s about them. They get to choose their behaviors, and what they choose is always more a function of their experiences and their worldview than it is about you.
Take the high road
Tip 3: Choose your battles when it comes to addressing things that bother you. Of course there are exceptions and there may be times you desperately need to speak up for yourself or leave the situation. But by and large, family time during the holidays is relatively short and infrequent. Remind yourself that you’re leaving town tomorrow and take the high road by letting things go.
Your family is unique
Tip 4: Don’t compare your family to others. No family is perfect. The ones that look perfect only appear so from your outside perspective. Everyone’s dealing with something in life; if it’s not family drama, it’s something else. Comparing your family to others’ is the opposite of accepting them exactly as they are. That’s why it hurts to do it. The more you compare, the worse you feel, period.
Hold your tongue
Tip 5: Choose being happy over being right. You know how you’re 100% confident that you’re right and they’re wrong? Well, I have news for you. They’re just as sure that they’re right and you’re wrong. Since you aren’t going to change their mind, why not decide that it’s enough that you know you’re right and leave it at that. Choose peace and happiness over righteousness.
Tips provided by Amy Johnson, Ph.D.
Dr. Amy Johnson is a Social Psychologist, Master Certified Coach, and public speaker. She also has taught university-level psychology, consulted on several high-profile court cases, spoken to audiences around the country about success and happiness, and sailed around the world. She works with clients worldwide via telephone and online individual and group coaching programs.