6 Steps to Keeping the Peace This Holiday Season
These tips can help avoid resentment and friction at family gatherings
Donna Sapolin is the Founding Editor of Next Avenue. Follow Donna on Twitter @stylestorymedia.
To help prevent disappointment and ensure a happier season, try applying these six strategies:
1. Bury the hatchet. Nothing will chase the cheer and deepen chasms faster that engaging dysfunction. So, during the visit, do your utmost to give up trying to change anyone's thoughts and actions.
Simply observe the goings-on rather than interact with them. Reshape your mindset and resolve not to engage with taunts or baiting comments. Aim for a spirit of forgiveness rather than assuming a warrior stance. This isn’t easy, but it’s essential if you want to free yourself from emotions that can hold you captive.
If there’s work to be done — on yourself and your relationships (and when isn’t there?) — you can undertake that effort after the holiday.
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In the video below, Robert Thurman, Columbia University professor of Indo-Tibetan Buddhist studies and author of Love Your Enemies: How to Break the Anger Habit & Be a Whole Lot Happier, presents baby steps that can help you get a handle on your habitual reactions, develop mindfulness and transform useless behaviors that can foil good times. It’s well worth practicing what he describes in the weeks leading up to the holidays.