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Home for the Holidays

25 Nov

The holidays are rapidly approaching … as are the pleasures and stresses of being with family.

Family dynamics can intensify when you spend more time together. So, when your family doesn’t feel like a Norman Rockwell painting, what are some tips for keeping potential conflict at bay?

  • family rockwellDon’t swat at a fly with a sledgehammer. Try to assess the level of the conflict and react accordingly. So, if your mother in law wants the seating arrangement to be a certain way in her house …then maybe it’s not a hill to die for if you have a different approach. On the other hand, if your uncle is the brunt of jokes that are hurtful, coming to his defense might be the perfect response.
  • Think twice about how you respond. Instead of going into ‘attack mode’ by saying “Well, that’s a dumb idea,” take a deep breath and think about a different reply. How about “I’m not sure that I understand how we will be eating by 5:00 if we put the stuffing inside the bird.”
  • Is there a third way? Often conflict boils down to ‘your way’ or ‘my way.’ Those are the positions people are taking.  By understanding more about the interests behind the positions, there may be an alternative that will work for both of you. And one that neither of you thought about going in.
  • Take your deflector shield. Sometimes changing the subject to something less controversial is diversion enough to head off a conflict.

These are just some ideas I thought about in preparing this blog. Please post any suggestions that you have or click here to send them to me and I will share them with our readers.

Jeanette

 

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