I want to thank Lou Farrell for writing this fantastic post on how to diffuse Christmas arguments and negativity. Please make sure to check her out on social media.
Christmas should be a joyous event spent with family and friends. However, when Xmas causes arguments and strife, you need to manage your emotions and actions not to ruin your day. Of course, easier said than done, but there are a few helpful tips and tricks to diffuse Christmas arguments and negativity.
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How To Diffuse Christmas Arguments
One of the problems over Xmas is alcohol consumption, and for many, this is not a problem, but some people can become argumentative after a few glasses of sherry. However, if you are hosting Christmas, you will generally be in charge of the drinks, and eeking these out will help avoid certain combative situations. Or choose every other drink to be non-alcoholic, there are many new brands out there that taste just as good as an alcoholic beverage, and you could start a new Christmas tradition.
But, if you are not the host, then you have little control over the drinks situation. All you can do is make sure you don’t have too much.
Alcohol loses our inhibition, and sometimes those things you have kept quiet about are suddenly blurted out if you have too much to drink. Be in control of your emotions, and you will find you have a more enjoyable time; alcohol isn’t necessary to get the most out of Christmas; it is all about being with loved ones and sharing.
Under the surface can bubble a myriad of things, and when we are together with family, they seem to know just where our weak spots are. If you have long-held grievances, then the chances are Christmas is when they will air. You should seek counseling beforehand to get to grips with the matters at hand. Also, you should avoid alcohol as this is likely to loosen your tongue.
If you are aware of other people holding grievances, make sure you don’t sit them together or opposite at the dinner table; keep them apart as much as possible. You can diffuse any situation before it starts by asking one of them to help you in the kitchen if they sit near each other afterward.
Games are usually good to alleviate grievances before they begin; again, try to avoid placing them in opposing teams.
Ungrateful Children & Adults
Most of us have had times where we have spent ages finding the perfect gift for a loved one, and it hasn’t been received how we would expect it. This can hurt, and you can carry the injustice of it throughout the day.
It may lead to friction and arguments, but you cannot control how another will react to the gift that you have given; you can only control your reactions. By being aware that you choose to be annoyed or calm, you can stop it from affecting you.
If someone has been pessimistic about the gift you have given, take some deep breaths, inhale through the nose and exhale through the mouth. You can also try EFT tapping and tap your thumb and forefinger together while saying in your mind, ‘this doesn’t matter, it is only one day.’
Arguments Over Games
Although games have already been mentioned as a way to bring joy to your household, there can be times, usually alcohol-infused, where certain games are not the best for grouping the family together. For example, ones that call upon other persons or group knowledge can lead to arguments, whereas old-fashioned games like charades are much more conducive to a better playtime.
Avoid games with a combative element, such as those with a timer or where someone’s lack of knowledge will be on show.
Choose games where there is silliness, and when people are laughing, there is little room for hostility.
Some people have an insatiable appetite, and when it comes to Xmas food, they view it as a never-ending supply and will quite happily eat more than their fill, without qualms or worries if there is enough to go around.
If you have a greedy goblin at the dinner table, you might want to consider serving the food onto the plates before they arrive at the dinner table. Or place items on the table and act as host and dish them out to your guests, rather than them helping yourselves.
The other alternative is to supply the greedy goblin with more food than they can surely eat. The food which usually has everyone salivating for are pigs in blankets and roast potatoes, so make sure you have more than your usual quota to hand.
Guests That Won’t Leave
Some guests do not know when it is time to leave, it could be rolling onto midnight, and they are still making merry and wanting the evening to continue, while you have wanted to go to bed for the past couple of hours.
There are a couple of ways you can handle this, you can either get your pj’s on and give an obvious clue and start yawning, or if they don’t quite grasp this, dig out an old quilt or sleeping bag and give it to them and invite them to stay the night and allowing you to go to bed.
The latter usually has two effects; they realize it is late, want the comfort of their bed, or stay the night. If you are uncomfortable with them staying and they haven’t headed your suggestions to leave, let them know you have an early start in the morning and need to go to bed; this usually works.
Christmas is a time for sharing and joy, and hopefully, you won’t have to worry about arguments. Still, they can happen and biting your tongue and deep breathing can help to alleviate any rising emotions. So, if you plan a little, your Xmas can run smoothly, and everyone can enjoy themselves.
Have you ever argued over something at Christmas? How did you diffuse it? Let us know in the comments.
Mental Health Blogger
Lou Farrell runs a website called Mentriz, where she writes articles and posts all about depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder. In addition, she covers other mental health topics such as therapy and self-care to improve mental wellbeing.