Shoo-wee, it’s been a long year, and we are “moeg”. Tired with a capital “T”. The COVID stress, and all its regulations, have left us all a bit more frazzled than we usually are at this time of the year. Thankfully holidays are around the corner. But, with fabulous family times, comes the occasional family meltdown too. With this in mind, the TastyMoments team has come up with a few handy tips on how to avoid or manage conflict these holidays.
Tip 1 – Set Boundaries
If you’re hosting this year’s family celebration, or are going away together, have a chat with the family about topics are off the table. Most conflicts happen when people have different opinions about inflammatory subjects like politics or beliefs. The best way to manage this is to have a frank discussion with everyone and ask them to avoid those (and any other sticky) subjects altogether. Remind the family that you’re coming together to share a happy experience. There is a time and a place for those kinds of conversations, and it’s not now.
Tip 2 – Ask Everyone To Have A Bit Of Empathy
You don’t always have to agree with someone to love them. Ask your family to practice a bit of empathy with one another. If your kids are exhausting grandpa, remind them that he doesn’t have the same energy as they do anymore. Ask them to put themselves in his shoes. Cultivate this mindset with everyone in the family, keep reminding them that an opinion is just that, an opinion. Everyone is entitled to one—no need to take it to heart.
Tip 3 – Ask For Help
If you’re the primary caregiver, the chances are you’re overloaded with chores over the festive season. The never-ending dishes, the permanent cooking and fielding questions like “What’s for dinner, maaaaa?” while you scramble to dream-up an easy meal idea that everyone will enjoy. (TOP TIP: We recommend Ital Pizza Pizzinis as a deliciously, reliable and crowd-pleasing snack in your artillery.) Rather than pretending that you can handle it all, have an earnest chat with the family. Tell them you’re running on fumes and would really appreciate their help. It may even come down to creating some sort of roster to allocate dishwashing and other daily chores. Remind everyone that Christmas is a team sport and that you need their help to make it fun for everyone. Also, don’t expect your family to smell when you need help. Sometimes it just takes a very nicely worded reminder to get them off the couch and into the kitchen to help. It’s all in your tone of voice. Don’t be the resentful martyr. You catch more flies with honey!
Tip 4 – Try Be Zen About It
Look, chances are, someone is still going to bicker or have a meltdown at some point. Make peace with it. Try to float above the tense moments if you can. Use words like “I respectfully disagree” while you steer the conversation to calmer waters. You can’t control how people behave, and sometimes the best way to avoid a conflict is to remove yourself from the discussion. “This too shall pass” should be your mantra. No one can stay upset forever and time heals most wounds.
Got any other tips? Let us know in the comment section below.
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