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Resilience at Christmas – How to survive spending time with people you’d rather not

Resilience at Christmas - How to survive spending time with people you'd rather not

Christmas is the one time of the year that people get together, often out of a sense of obligation, even though they’d rather not! Everyone has an experience of tension, stress and confrontation brought about by being in this uncomfortable situation. The irony is that people go to family gatherings at Christmas time to “keep the peace” when it often ends up anything but peaceful!

When you find yourself in this situation, here are 3 quick tips to help you survive without things getting ugly:

1. Set your intentions
Before the event take a few minutes to stop, breathe and relax to think about a positive experience. Thinking about friendship, harmony and enjoyment rather than getting tense and stressed before you even get there. If there is a particular person that you have challenges with, think about one good thing about them. Focus on the good and you will see more of it.

2. Choose your topics of conversation wisely
From previous experiences you will know which topics are likely to trigger fireworks. Avoid them. Lead the conversation, where possible to steer it away from the areas that are likely to cause conflict. Have a mental bank of questions to stimulate conversation that is going to be “safe”.

3. Do not drink!
When put in an uncomfortable social situation people resort to having a few drinks to relax and shut off from the awkwardness of the situation. The problem is that they end up having more than a few drinks and saying what they really think. It is not worth the drama! If you are going to drink, keep it to 1 or 2, if you feel that keeping restrained will be difficult, don’t drink at all.

If all else fails, remember it is only once a year! In a couple of hours you’ll be on your way home and won’t have to deal with it for another 364 days.

Do you have any tips for surviving Christmas with people you don’t get along with? Share them in the comments below.

Have a fabulous and peaceful Christmas.

Stacey Copas, Author of “How To Be Resilient”, is Australia’s #1 Keynote Speaker and Facilitator on Turning Adversity Into An Asset specialising in Resilience and finding the opportunity in Change and Adversity in the workplace. For media and speaking opportunities contact Stacey directly at bookings@staceycopas.com

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