Arguing During the Holidays

A Special Holiday message from Roland

Holidays seem to bring out the best and the worst in people. This holiday season, let it be the occasion for it to bring out the best in you.

This morning I went to Starbucks to get a coffee and do some reading and writing (which I do every morning). I noticed that people seemed to be in a festive mood. People talk to each other, smile, say Merry Christmas, put up decorations and enjoy the music and the general good vibes all around. I hope you enjoy the holiday spirit too.

At home, especially when there are little kids, there is magic in the air. But the holidays are also a time when old tapes and old programming is replayed. When I was a kid, just before Christmas there would be a huge scene: blaming, cursing, crying, and yelling. It was always the same, for no apparent reason, mother would create a huge scene and make everyone miserable. After a couple of hours things would be better again, and Christmas was fun and okay. But the big pre-Christmas scene was a pain.

I've seen others create scenes and I've heard about others. Most likely it's the old programming from childhood. Chances are, in my mother's case, HER mother did the same thing to her.

Then there is the old baggage from the past, the suppressed emotions, the unfinished business--especially the unfinished business--that tend to surface when people get together. Everyone is supposed to pretend everything is wonderful, when it isn't.

Bottom line: here's what you can do.

  • Be as patient as you can with others. Patience means: step back and take a deep breath.

  • Don't get sucked into an argument.

  • Mentally stand back, see the big picture, let it pass. Observe people in a detached way.

  • Understand that underneath they are feeling pain and chances are, they are out of control. Either they don't even see what they are doing, or if they do, they do not know how to stop themselves.

  • Be patient. In other words, don't resent them. Patience with people does not mean you have to like them. It does not mean that you have to pretend nothing happened. It just means: don't resent them. Let the storm pass. Be as calm as you as it is given to you to be.

  • And if you catch yourself creating a drama scene, stand back and observe the resentment involved. Let it pass.

Another article you might enjoy is Finding the True Meaning of Christmas
Pastor Roland, PhD in Pastoral Psychology and with 21 years experience, offers online consultation 7 days a week. For more information, click here.

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