Hindsight really is 20/20. As I sit here on the plane flying home from a visit with family, I can’t help but reflect on the last couple of days. Many fellow bloggers have posted about how difficult it is during the holidays with several days filled with so many different personalities. The bottom line is this, we love our family but often times we have become so comfortable around them that we lose our filter. We stop choosing our words wisely and before we know it we say some things we may regret. How can we avoid this? Everyone is working so hard preparing food and cleaning up and no-one really gets a break long enough to put their feet up and rest. Add fatigue to the mix and the constant need for something to be done and the scene is perfectly set for something to go wrong. Here are some tips that I really believe can make any gathering a more pleasant one. Ask yourself, how could I have acted differently to remove tension in the room rather than add to it? How could I have responded in a more positive way to keep the peace? Sometimes it’s as simple as choosing not to respond at all. So here they are, tips to be a positive contribution to any crowd.
1) Do not speak every thought that is in your head. Not everyone wants to hear everything you think.
2) If two people are having a discussion, mind your own business. If people want your 2 cents, believe me they will ask for it. Otherwise, keep your change in your pocket and save it for a rainy day.
3) Don’t insult another person in the room. You know what mama always says, if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.
4) Pitch in and do your share. At the very least clean up after yourself. No-one needs to do something you are more than capable to do yourself.
5) If someone is trying to get your goat, walk away and don’t engage. There are plenty of people to have a conversation with. Choose the ones who soothe your soul, not the ones who start a flame.
6) Keep negativity to yourself. Focus on the positive
7) Don’t point fingers. If your hands are that free, try washing some of the dishes.
8) Be kind. Try complimenting someone instead of insulting them. Before you speak, ask yourself if what you are about to say is kind or necessary. Think about how you would feel if someone spoke your words back to you.
9) Get over things. Let them go and move on to a better place. Sometimes we can only see what we allow ourselves to see. Try looking for something good.
10) Don’t judge. Just because you have an opinion of who someone is does not mean it is even a smidgen true. Put your own shoes on and walk in them. Let people be who they are. Accept them and love them for who they are. That is the kindest gift you could ever give.
11) Don’t be a know at all. Remember that kid that sat in the front of the class and always had his hand up? Nobody liked that kid….ever. You don’t always have to prove you’re right.
12) if you break all these rules, give yourself a break and do better next time. After all, we’re only human. It’s okay to make mistakes.
13) Respect someone’s boundaries. If you know you are doing something that is irritating someone, stop. If you just love to push buttons, the carnival is always hiring.
So there you have it, a guide to make any gathering less stressful and more enjoyable. Let me know if you have anything we should add to the list.