The holidays are here once again which means it’s time for parties, family dinners, gifts, and holiday cheer. It also means it’s time to practice your conflict avoidance skills. No one wants to feel like their holiday dinner party wouldn’t feel out of place on Keeping Up with the Kardashians, or another reality TV show. Follow these five tips and you can get through the holidays and that Thanksgiving dinner, with your peace of mind still in place.
Tip 1: Avoid the hot button issues
The Internet has taught us that we should always have an opinion about everything. The holidays are the wrong place to share those opinions especially when it comes to anything that could be a hot button item. Families can be diverse socially, politically, and culturally. Bringing up a political topic is guaranteed to just make trouble. You might have a majority of agreement but there’s bound to be someone who feels the need to argue or might just feel left out because they do disagree.
Tip 2: Keep your drinking to a minimum
No one wants to be “that relative”. The one who has too many beers and then says offensive things about another group of people. You also don’t want to be the one everyone is talking about in hushed tones after the office party. Know your own limit on alcohol and stick to it. Nothing wrong with being merry just don’t over do it.
Tip 3: Practice your verbal judo
Not everyone is going to read these lists or keep their alcohol to a minimum. Someone might be rude or over served. Don’t rise to the bait. Redirect the conversation onto another topic. It’s as simple as saying “That’s interesting” and then changing the topic to something more pleasant for everyone. You might have to redirect more than once. Most people want a nice time at the holidays and you might find help from other family and friends who want to avoid bad holiday events too.
Tip 4: Don’t criticize
Holiday parties can be rough to put together and plan. Show your appreciation to the host. You can offer to help clean up. Even if you can’t do something like that kind words and a festive attitude make the party even better. This helps your host whether they are family or co-workers feel like you appreciate the work they did to put together the event.
Tip 5: Plan to have fun
Remember that parties are supposed to be fun. Holidays doubly so. The most important thing you can bring is a positive attitude and a willingness to roll with the punches. Remember, being compared to a reality TV show is never a good thing.