The hustle and bustle of the holiday season is here. Amongst all the joy and festivities, it can also be one of the most stressful and hectic times of the year and chances are you’ll encounter some difficult people or situations this holiday season. Whether it is with that one relative or the customer service rep that isn’t being too helpful, these eight tips are designed to keep your holiday season fun and exciting.
1. Manage your emotions
The only person that can cause you to be angry, upset, or let your emotions get the best of you is YOU. Be responsible for your own emotions and it will go a long way towards having a fun and rewarding holiday season. Choose to be a “Santa” and not a “Scrooge”.
2. Remember, “They are not reacting to you”
When you encounter that angry or upset holiday shopper or the upset person fighting the traffic on the way to the shopping centre, always remember that they are not reacting to you! They are solely responding to their own thoughts, opinions, stresses, and emotions. Wish them a happy holiday and brighten up their day.
3. Seek first to understand, then to be understood
Be willing to listen and see from another person’s point of view. The more someone feels listened to and understood the more willing and receptive they will be to listen to and understand your point of view.
4. Disagree without attacking
It’s ok to disagree. You can disagree without attacking or making someone feel like they did something wrong. We are all entitled to our own opinions and points of view. I think it was Mark Twain that said, “If two people have the same opinion, one of them is not necessary!”
5. Pause and detach
If you find yourself caught up in a situation or conversation, it’s ok to pause, detach, regain your composure and then re-engage in the conversation. If necessary, you can even excuse yourself and continue it at a later date and time.
6. De-activate your hot buttons
Spending time with family over the holidays is one of the easiest times to have our hot buttons pushed. Ever wonder why your family seems to push your hot buttons easier than anyone else? It’s because they installed them. Being aware of this and using the tips in this article can help in de-activating your hot buttons.
7. Slow down and breathe
If it’s all beginning to be a little too much, just give yourself a few moments alone and take a few long deep breaths. Actively relax for a few minutes and allow yourself to come to a rest and have a little break.
8. When it’s over, it’s over
Let it go! When a conversation or situation is over, it is over. Don’t carry it around with you. It’s time to get back to enjoying your holidays! After all, the holidays come only once a year, so enjoy every minute you can.
Lou Markstrom is a Professional Development Specialist dedicated to having others reach their maximum potential.