Take some time to set yourself up for a holly jolly season by understanding that some relationships in your life may need extra care.
Holidays are stressful enough without the added pressures of when relationships in your life fall below the freezing mark. Don’t let the frustrations of the season shrink your heart to two sizes too small. Here are some great ways to deal with difficult people, not only over the holidays but anytime.
1. Avoid Personalizing the Problem
Your ex isn’t answering your calls about how you two will split time with the kids over the holidays. Your girlfriend has declined your invitation to get together for some seasonal cheer. Your co-worker has stopped being chatty over lunch with you. As easy as it is to think they are avoiding you, keep in mind it’s the holidays and people get very busy. People’s behaviors are based on what they are going through not what you have done or didn’t do. Another great way to handle these types of situations is to step back, breath and put yourself in their shoes for just a minute. It may be easier to understand why your girlfriend can’t get together for a visit when you remember that she has four kids and family on their way from another region.
Your mother is being unrealistic in her demands on your time. She’s been calling you constantly with one thing or another, wanting you to do something for her. Your first reaction is to block her from calling you, but that is not the solution. Clearly and assertively, tell her that you will help out where you can but you can’t do it all. Do not go on the defensive with a person that is being unrealistic. That will only set up the situation to turn worse. Handle the issues in a calm manner. Sometimes people have no idea what is going on in your life and once you explain this to them, it makes it easier for them to understand your needs and limitations.
There are going to be situations that you could avoid by simply deciding it’s not worth your time and energy to get in a heated battle. As the saying goes… choose your battles wisely in order to win the war. Know when and what to stand your ground on. That cashier that seems to refuse to listen to your concerns over a faulty product can easily be replaced by someone that will listen. The manager for example. Your ex that won’t give you the dates you’ve been asking about for well over a month and you’re trying to book time off because your boss is breathing down your neck? You may need to step it up to the next level and involve your lawyer or the courts.
4. Maintain a Healthy Space
Some people, no matter how effectively you communicate are just difficult people. There really is no way you will win with them. Unfortunately, toxic people are toxic people and these can often be the people that are closest to us. No amount of reason or logic will help them see your side. While we still have to deal with them, do what needs to be down and then avoid interacting with them when you can. If it is the situation where you have no choice but to deal with this person, a mediator or other intervener may be required.
5. Me Time
No one wants to say no at the holidays but how could one person possibly keep up with all the parties, kids’ Christmas concerts, holiday shopping, baking and on and on. Be realistic in your abilities and understand that in order to deal with difficult situations, you need to be at the top of your game. Now is probably not the best time to sign up for that Learn to Make a 12 Course Gourmet Christmas Dinner if you’ve never even turned on your oven in the past.
Sit down with a pen and paper and write out what NEEDS to be done compared to what you WANT to do. Then plug it into your calendar. This will give you a clear indication of just how much spare time you actually have. Remember, you do have to sleep. No one wants to deal with the Grinch over the holidays. While you’re at it, schedule in some “me time”. While you’re out shopping, treat yourself to that latte or a special tea. Use that time to breathe in the scents and listen to the sounds of the holiday.
While the holidays are supposed to be about joy and happiness, it is one of the most stress filled times in our year. Ranked in the top ten of the most stressful life events, Christmas falls in behind divorce, moving and changing jobs. So take some time to set yourself up for a holly jolly season by understanding that some relationships in your life may need extra care.
More from DivorcedMoms.
- Being Divorced at Christmas Time
- 5 Things I’ve Learned About Communicating with Others
- Maintaining an Emotional Connection. Surprise! It’s Not About Communication
For information about divorce in your state, visit Divorce Magazine.