Holiday parties and get togethers sometimes get stickier than the gooey treats on the Santa Claus serving platter. While the latter disappears quickly, the former potentially lingers from one year to another.
So what do you do when confronted with these situations?
These tips are for YOU, not the ones who necessarily need to change their behavior:
(Sorry…This is not about THEM.)
1. Control and take responsibility for your own behavior. You can’t take ownership for others’ behavior. Even if you see a need for others to change, release yourself from this expectation.
2. Anger prepares us for a state of preparedness when confronted with a “flight or fright” mode. Here’s the main point: If someone pushes your buttons, choose to NOT react. Being angry isn’t sinful, but reacting to anger in a sinful way is.
Remember these points for ANGER MANAGEMENT:
Know what/who triggers your anger
Stop/cool down/count to 10
Imagine the results/empathize with the other person/surrender your right to retaliate/keep your distance if needed
Deal with the issues that cause you anger so that you can confront it in a way that leads to restoration and healing
3. Words account for only 7% of communication. Tone, nonverbals, and body language say more than your words. Ask for clarification and don’t assume you know what the person meant.
4. Make a choice to NOT be part of the drama.
5. You don’t have to be right.
6. Forgiveness is a process. If you have been offended, consider seeing a therapist or pastor to walk through the stages of the forgiveness process. Remember: After walking through the steps of forgiveness, it doesn’t let the other person off the hook, it lets YOU off the hook.
7. Listen, keep quiet, or ask questions. Take the focus off of yourself. Asking open ended questions results in others’ revealing their belief/value systems.
8. Seek to understand the other’s point of view.
9. Validate what the other person is saying even if you don’t agree with them. You don’t have to agree with someone in order to validate their point of view.
10. It doesn’t matter what you know. If the other person doesn’t perceive your actions as loving or if they do not feel loved, you are nothing more than a clanging cymbal (I Corinthians 13).
Yes, there is #HOPEFORTHEHOLIDAYS.