How Couples Can Avoid Those Holiday Fights
Here are the top four arguments that emerge around the holidays. This year, be wise. Avoid unnecessary conflict so your holidays are what they should be – fun!
1. The Over-sharing Argument: “I can’t believe you told your brother I was fired. You have such a big mouth!
”Quick Fix: Create a Border Control. Talk to your mate in advance of the holiday gathering about which topics are private versus public. Perhaps your recent health issues, child’s academic or discipline problems or your job instability are things you don’t want your nosy aunt to know. Avoid verbal landmines with a pre-holiday discussion so neither of you end up putting your foot in your mouth.
2. The Traditional Argument: “ As a child we always made our own holiday gifts so that’s what I want to do with our children.”
Quick Fix: Combine Traditions. When you are part of a duo, you can’t have it your way all the time. Ask your partner about which traditions are important to him or her this holiday season and truly listen to the answers. Then, explain the origins of the traditions that are important to you. Lastly, offer a give-and-take to combine them. When you offer, it’s viewed as kindness. If you wait to be forced to accommodate, the same result is viewed as inconsiderate.
3. The Opinionated Argument: “You’re wrong. Anyone who voted for him is an idiot!”
Quick Fix: Pick Your Battles. Family members, including your most precious loved one, can say the most judgmental, hurtful things. If you’re talking to someone who can argue with respect, then go ahead and enter the conversation. But if this person is ready to defend their opinion at all costs, then it is not a battle to pick. Rather than attacking back and further igniting holiday warfare, ask yourself, “Does this person’s opinion really affect my life (i.e. are they running for election or do they actually have decision-making power? I don’t think so)?” If it’s just a superficial battle, let it go
4. The Techno-pest Argument: “We have guests over. Get off that $%#@&*^computer!”
Quick Fix: Employ Positive Criticism Nothing can come between you and your mate, except a computer or cell phone. While technology connects us to the world, it can disconnect us from those we love. If your mate chooses his or her tech objects over people this holiday season, don’t complain, just explain. Tell him or her, “You know, we really miss your company out here. I like hearing what you have to say. Can you leave the computer soon (or put down the cell phone) and join us?” When phrased with flattery, you’re sure to get what you want.
By: Tene Sommer
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