Holidays you’re a very testing time of year, and while they can be a lot of fun and filled with joy and merriment, they can also cause arguments, stress, tension, and pressure. If you have fallen out with someone in your family but you are going to have to face them over Christmas or New Year then here are a few tips to help you out:
1. Address It Before.
If you know you’re going to see your feuding family member at an event, of course, you don’t have to go, but that might make it worse, so why not address the problem now.
You don’t have to resolve it, but you could be the bigger person and give them a call or write them a letter and say that as you’re both going to be there, you’d like it if you could be civil. Suggest meeting up beforehand to get anything you need to say out of the way, and then you can just relax and enjoy Christmas.
If you can’t do this, then before you see them at Christmas Dinner or wherever you’re going to be…
Think about what it is that you want to say and why you want to say it. How serious is the issue? Is it worth bringing up? Are you arguing over something like how to get a fair inheritance, or is it about forgetting someone’s birthday or not bringing a bottle of wine to the last party? Ask yourself, in 30 minutes, 30 days, or 30 years from now, will you still care? If you won’t, then perhaps it’s a good idea just to let it go.
3. Speak From The Heart.
Don’t just point fingers and blame other people for things; it won’t solve anything. Focus on finding solutions that work for everyone and look at ways that you can move forward.
Put yourself in an outsider’s shoes and listen as though you are an observer with no prior knowledge of the situation. It might help to put things into perspective.
5. Be Willing To Apologize.
If you really want to sort this out, then you do need to be ready and willing to apologize. Don’t ever say, “I’m sorry that you feel that way,” but if you really can’t bring yourself to apologize for something in particular, then you can apologize for the hurt or distress that you have caused.
6. Don’t Start A Feud.
If you don’t have an ongoing family feud already, then make sure you don’t start one this Christmas. Be realistic about how things are going to go and make sure you lower your expectations. Don’t expect to feel happy just because you are all together. Also, remember to be a good guest and clean up after yourself and your kids.
Avoid drinking too much, and if you are the host, then make sure you take care of yourself. Oh, and to save any embarrassment, discuss the gift situation in advance, make sure you know who’s buying gifts for your family, so you have things for them and have an agreed budget in place.