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3 Simple Ways to Avoid Conflicts with Family this Holiday

3 Simple Ways to Avoid Conflicts with Family this Holiday

Ahh, the Christmas season. There’s just nothing like being back together with close family. It’s not like anything could go wrong, right? It’s just the season of peace on earth and goodwill towards everyone. 

But if you come from a human family, you’re probably familiar with the fights that happen over the holidays. There’s just enough time to get into the issues and not quite enough time to resolve them. So many expectations, so many carbohydrates! It’s a recipe for conflict.

Here’s three quick phrases to help you avoid all the drama.

1. “You might just be right about that!” - or - “I might be wrong.” 

This one comes from a great friend of mine, Brock Fehr. He’s gentle and I figure he knows a couple of ways to diffuse conflict.

Want to diffuse the battle of opinions? Wave the white flag of surrender. You don’t have to be right! And you also don’t have to confess you’re wrong either. The trick here is to admit you don’t know everything, and to be humble enough to consider the other person’s side. 

2. “What can we do to make this moment better?”

This saying is built on a belief that everyone wants to connect. Unless someone is holding you at gunpoint and forcing you to go to your family get together, you want to have a good time with your loved ones!

Unfortunately, offence can sidetrack that process. This goes beyond arguments sometimes, as longstanding hurts and pains can be brought up when everyone is together. 

But asking this question goes a long way–no matter how big or small the conflict is. It gets everyone on the same side, looking for ways to help one another enjoy the holiday.

3. “How can I help?”

Everyone wants to relax over Christmastime. Few people get to relax the way they want. No, I’m not just talking about how your Uncle prefers to keep his pants off.

An environment of rest and peace doesn’t happen by accident. We often neglect this fact when we’re just trying to take a break ourselves. Instead, if you posture yourself to make someone else’s rest possible, they feel loved and appreciated (even if you guys struggle with each other every other day of the year).

Use your time together to give your relatives the gift of your thoughtfulness, attention, and service. You might have some dishes to do, but it will go a long way to help your family connect with one another. 

These tips follow one assumption: you must be sincere in saying these things in order for them to work. If you’re deep in the trenches of the old family warfare, no phrase is going to magically solve your issues. Start with disarmament. It’s going to take time to move towards peace and rest if you’ve been used to nothing but awkward tension over your break, but it’s certainly worth it. 

Make Christmas a break from the conflict. Give your family the gift of “not killing them” this holiday season!

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