we are again, at the beginning of a new year, planning to make a fresh start—break old
habits and create new routines. But first we have to get past the holiday blues and
stresses. It’s a proven fact that the holidays are the most stressful time of the year,
causing shattered nerves and short tempers. This can wreak havoc on platonic friendships,
co-worker interactions, family harmony, and romantic relationships.
following are 12 steps to take on the road to fighting fair and keeping peace in the New
- No yelling, hitting, or threatening. Intimidation is the coward’s
way of resolving problems.
- Respect the feelings of others as valid, even if you
disagree with them. Just because you don’t agree with someone else’s reasoning doesn’t
mean they’re wrong.
- Stay on the subject until there’s some kind of resolution.
When we don’t stick to the point, the person trying to listen can become confused,
impatient, and resentful. Don’t bring in other problems or old fights. If you’ve forgiven
each other’s past mistakes, you mustn’t revisit old issues.
- Attack the problem,
not the person. Use “I” language. The word “you” is sure to cause someone to become
defensive. The minute we hear “You did this” or “You did that,” we feel we’re being
judged, and the automatic reaction is to defend rather than discuss.
without interrupting or plotting what you’re going to say in retaliation. Interrupting
will only succeed in lengthening the conflict.
- This is not a laughing matter. Many
of us think a little friendly teasing or sarcastic remark will add levity or reduce
tension. On the contrary, making light of the situation implies you aren’t taking the
other party seriously.
- Restate what you heard. If you repeat the other person’s
message correctly, their reaction will most often be “He/She did understand me.”
Then you can move on to the next issue.
- If tempers are flaring and you find
yourself losing control, put the discussion on hold and agree to meet back at a specific
time when tempers have calmed.
- Never argue in public. Take a time out with an
agreement to continue the discussion in private. After all, it’s easier to apologize or
take back an inappropriate comment when only one person has heard it.
- Do not make
rash decisions like breaking off the relationship while either party is
- Admit your own mistakes. Take responsibility for your contribution in
arguments rather than pointing blame. Blaming is a judgment and automatically causes the
other person to become defensive.
- Look for solutions and compromises. Decide on
mutually acceptable solutions for your differences. After all, the best part of fighting
is making up.
Let’s all play nice and have a happy and harmonious New
Have a question, a thought, or a story to share (anonymity
guaranteed)? Email Christine at firstname.lastname@example.org