New York, NY, December 23, 2015 --(PR.com
)-- In his latest article, “5 Things You Can Do to Avoid Family Feuds During the Holidays
,” renowned psychologist and anger management specialist Dr. Christian Conte provides readers with five ways to avoid family arguments and battles during holiday get-togethers.
“The holidays can create unbelievably happy memories, but they can also instigate some disastrous family feuds,” says Dr. Conte. “This holiday season, strive for beautiful moments with your family, not reasons to never want to see them again. Focus on how you can foster a more inviting and peaceful holiday experience for those around you, and you will probably find that you benefit from that peace as well.”
Here are Dr. Conte’s five tips:
1. Leave your “shoulds” at home. Family functions are not the place to dole out unsolicited advice. When your loved ones complain to you about their lives, they are not looking for answers, but support; and they are certainly not looking for your “simple” solutions. “Just leave her;” “Just have a baby;” “Just quit your job,” are all examples of events that feel a lot more complicated than they sound. In other words, even though your advice seems simple enough to you, it may not be simple to follow through in actual practice. So before you advise people in your family about what they “should” do with their lives, consider not doing it. Instead, listen with compassion and empathy to what your loved ones say. Your loved ones don’t need advice; they need to be heard.
2. Don’t talk about politics. As much as you might think they are, your family is probably not interested in your views on politics – especially when they don’t see things the way you do. In fact, if you’re honest with yourself, you’re probably not interested in their views on politics either. That’s because people are rarely interested in talking about politics with others; instead, people want to talk about politics at others. People who want to talk about politics at family functions are pretty certain that they have all the answers about the world, and they just want you to agree with them. More often than not, people with strong political opinions are very attached to those opinions – which means if you disagree with them, you are only playing right into a certain family feud. Unless you’re certain that everyone in the room shares your political viewpoints, best to leave the political talk at the door with your winter boots.
3. Look to compliment more than you look for compliments. The more you go into a family situation expecting that others will notice your new shirt or be as happy for you about your new relationship as you are, the more likely you are to be let down. Instead of expecting others to see your life through your eyes, take the time to see their lives through their eyes. Compliment others more than you expect compliments in return. In fact, instead of expecting compliments, recognize that your family, like you and the rest of the world, is primarily caught up in their own lives. Rather than being judgmental about other people’s self-centeredness, consider showing your loved ones a vested interest in their lives without expecting anything in return.
4. Learn to let things go. We have a tendency to minimize the hurtful things we do to others, whereas we tend to maximize the hurtful things that others do to us. If you were to step back and really look at your family system objectively, you would see that you have caused your fair share of pain through the years, and that you don’t want others to hold onto the hurtful things you have done. If you don’t want others to hold onto the things you have done, then lead by example and begin to let go of the hurtful things others in your family might have done to you. Be forgiving, but don’t just say that you forgive someone: Show that person by your demeanor and actions.
5. Leave your ego at the door. Remember, you can be right or you can be happy, but you can rarely be both. Strive for happiness by letting go of your ego. What will “being right” with your family really get you at the end of the day? Let’s say that you are right about everything in life. If you are, there’s a good chance your tombstone will read: “Here lies (insert your name here). This person was right about everything. Also, this person pushed everyone in his/her life away, so no one’s actually at this funeral, which is why the funeral home felt bad and provided this very wordy headstone.” Leave your ego at the door, because the fact is: You are not right about everything, and arguing just for the sake of arguing is not pleasant to be around. The holidays are a time for family to gather together, not a contest regarding who is right the most.
Read the full article at www.DrChristianConte.com.
Dr. Christian Conteis a renowned anger management specialist who is contracted by prison systems to work with their most violent inmates, and by college and pro sports teams to work with some of the top athletes in the country. He’s a popular television host, author and professional speaker.