This holidays season, you might find yourself in the company of that relative who knows how to push your buttons, criticize your life choice’s and just generally get under your skin. You don’t have to succumb to their foolishness or attempts to drag you into a screaming match. You certainly don’t want to spend Christmas dinner in turmoil over some super mean thing a family member told you that evening.
Before heading off for dinner with relatives today or any time this Holiday Season, heed to these 5 tips:
1. Repeat: It’s Not About Me. Your judgmental cousin may have a boat load of her own baggage she is carrying around and enjoys the holidays to rag on someone else in a weak attempt at making her feel better. That aunt who asks you 20 questions about your life may be genuinely interested or looking for something to criticize so she doesn’t feel so bad about her own basketcase kids. Picking on her sister’s kids may be her idea of retribution. Who knows. But realize it’s probably them not you. An easy way to get out of being on the reviving end of a game of 20 questions is to turn the table on them and start asking THEM nonstop questions about their lives.
2. Wait before speaking: When someone tells you something to instantly boil your bubble, try your darnedest to count to 10 slowly before replying. That way instead of this:: “So you just say whatever pops up in your little pea brain of yours, huh?”
You’ll say: “Hmm. Interesting. um I’m sorry —Oh I have to go use the bathroom real quick.” Then avoid the person if you can for the evening.
3. Carry Stress Relief With You: Carry a squeeze ball the suffocate and help you hold in your urge to hurl a littany of swear words back at your aunt who tells you why you don’t have a man or why your marriage is destined to fail. his too shall pass. In under 24 hours, she’ll be out of your hair and back on her broom on her way home.
4. Excuse yourself: The best way to avoid conflict is to just exit the situation. Literally. Just fight the urge to reply and go to the restroom or outside for some fresh air to clear your mind. It’s totally not worth it. And if you are preggers with extra hormones floating through your body or undergoing anything else stressful, you are bound to explode as you’re already not your normal self. Removing yourself from the situation takes strength but in the end it’s worth it.
5. Stay away from Religion & Politics: A heated debate on contentious and sensitive issues can easily ruin the Holidays. Make it a rule to bite your tongue and not add your 2 cents in. It’s only going to unnecessarily raise your blood pressure and contributed added tension to what is probably already a tense time. Just say no!
Follow these tips and you are on your way to a conflict-free Christsmas!