Dr. Sarah Vartabedian is a communication expert and professor at WTAMU; she has some tips for maintaining harmony during the holidays. She says to remember that the holiday season will end and that you can develop coping strategies:
- Make sure that good relationships are the first priority.
- Keep people and problems separate.
- Pay attention to the interests that are being presented.
- Listen first; talk second.
- Highlight areas of agreement.
There are also some practical pointers that should help:
- Think about the topics that might cause friction and avoid them. Warn unsuspecting family members as well.
- Be realistic about your family, who they are, and how the holidays typically unfold.
- Call a temporary truce on family conflict
- Play your part in the tradition.
- Maintain a sense of humor.
Dr. Vartabedian also offers these practical tips for saving your sanity:
- If your family tends to have spats, be careful about supplying copious amounts of alcohol.
- Share responsibilities with others.
- Take care of yourself.
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