Though the idea of spending time with your extended family is charming, the reality is: When you stick a group of people in one room together there’s bound to be some bickering. History has proven to us when you mix stress, differing political opinions and a glass or two of holiday spirit — you’ve got yourself a recipe for disaster. Here are some tips on how to avoid the next big family feud:
1. AGREE TO DISAGREE IS AN EXPRESSION OF US CULTURE.
We live in a democracy so remember that everyone is entitled to their own opinion — and whether that opinion affects you or not, remind yourself to respect it. The beauty of being open-hearted is, no matter how fueled you may be, it has a way of turning down the heat to neutralize an argument. Be mindful and use that to your advantage, because it works!
By no means do we suggest you surrender your position on a matter, but rather, try to understand the opposing party’s stance. If you’re aware their position is immovable, take the high road and agree to disagree. You’ll be amazed how much respect you’ll earn when you don’t lose your cool
2. AVOID NEGATIVITY
If you begin to feel overwhelmed, remove yourself from the situation. It takes less effort to walk away, than to have your bubble burst and be the center of attention. It can be difficult to stay optimistic when you find yourself surrounded by toxic energy, so get some fresh air, pick up a light weight conversation or go to the bathroom and take some space… Do whatever it is you need to do to protect your bubble.
3. PRACTICE KINDNESS
Ever notice how hard it is to be a grinch when everyone else in the room is smiling? Set an example for yourself and your family members. Try sparking a conversation about something that gives you a warm and fuzzy feeling inside. Replace negativity with positivity and ride the wave of happiness – it’s contagious.
4. REMEMBER WHY WE CELEBRATE
Easter and Passover, to each their own, are the most important holidays amongst their religions. For Christians, It’s the day Jesus rose from the dead, three days after his crucification. Easter is a time for Christians to celebrate how goodness conquers evil. Religious or not, that’s a pretty exceptional principle to observe. And it’s no coincidence that Easter occurs in the spring, a time for rebirth and new beginnings; the Resurrection reminds us that we all get to start over.
So, do your best to maintain self-awareness and make this Easter the first step in a positive direction towards reclaiming a sense of common humanity. If family members get out of hand, practice the “Golden Rule” of treating others the way you wish to be treated and kill them with kindness. And if you’re the one getting hot under the collar, take a couple of deep breaths and try to keep an open mind. For goodness’ sake, you’ll be pleased you did!