Conflict at Christmas (and 9 ways to avoid it)

by | Dec 14, 2016 | News

The Christmas cocktail:  high expectations, different agendas, family members under one roof and a meal to be cooked for many.
It’s a time that some look forward to and some dread and inevitably Christmas can lead to family rows.  So what can we do to avoid disappointment and manage to share some genuine Yuletide cheer?
  1. Manage expectations – prepare yourself and any immediate family for any tricky conversations or subjects to avoid ahead of the game.
  2. Be willing and personally responsible to make Christmas special for the people that you’re going to spend the day with.  Ask them, “What really matters to you about today, what one thing would you really like to happen?” Then, try and make it happen.  Ask husbands/wives/sons/daughters to do the same for others.  You will feel kind and others will feel valued.
  3. Offer to help with any jobs that need to be done and suggest a job when you’ve been told, “No, I’m fine I don’t need help.”
  4. Actively listen to others when they talk – this means be quiet, don’t finish sentences and encourage the speaker to talk with gestures – this suggestion works very well when discussions get a bit heated or alcohol fuelled.
  5. If you disagree with a view point and you need to express that, then the following phrase can be useful, “It’s not what I think but I understand what you mean.”
  6. If you want to state your view point do it in an individual way, “This is what I think ….and this is why I think that”
  7. If all else fails, bite your tongue!
  8. Compliment the chef on the fabulous dinner.
  9. At the end of the day think of three moments that made you grateful or happy.  It will set you up well for next year.

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