TWELVE RELATIONSHIP "DO'S" FOR THE HOLIDAYS ....and every day! Relationship help that, well...helps!
People fall in love, get engaged and get married over the holidays. People visit families and feel at home, or remember why they seldom visit. People react to the stress of the holidays poorly and relationships crack, develop fracture lines, or fall apart. And, often, they know they need relationship help.
With those things in mind, here are twelve things you can do if you want your relationships to thrive, not just survive, during the holiday season. In fact, these will work for every day of your life, too!
- BE AN APPRECIATOR: Notice what people do, say and express that demonstrates they care...even if it is only in their own way, not yours. Just because something doesn't resonate with you as thoughtful, considerate or delightful, consider that they were doing their best and appreciate that.
- BE FOCUSED ON WHAT'S WORKING. It's easy to be a fault-finder. That doesn't help any relationship. Catch people doing things right, well, or graciously and comment on that. It saves relationships, and, with practice, it saves you wear, tear and energy. Finding fault is a big energy leak!
- BE ALIGNED WITH YOUR VALUES. If you say family is very important to you and then you neglect to treat each and everyone of them as important enough to talk to and spend time with, you are out of alignment. If running around trying to get things done becomes more important than paying attention to folks you say you care about, give your head a shake!
- BE AWARE THAT GOOD ENOUGH IS GOOD ENOUGH. Perfectionists beware! The holidays is a time when you can drive yourself--and those around you--crazy with making things perfect, or as perfectionists are fond of saying hoping that folks will agree, "making things as good as they can be." Give that up! Good enough is good enough, and perfect is unattainable. Let yourself off the hook and everyone around you will breathe easier, too! (P.S. Refer to #1 and appreciate yourself and others for the doing, if not for the perfect outcome! )
- BE WILLING TO TRY NEW THINGS. Whether you are presented with a new food, a new gadget, or a person with a new attitude, be open. Closed minds shut people out, and prevent you from enjoying new experiences. Yes, it's true. "Try it. You might like it." is a good idea.
- BE AWARE OF THE NEEDS OF OTHERS. Remembering that we are not the center of the universe is a truly grown-up thing to do. Sure, we appreciate having our needs met by others, but we're big girls and boys now. We can delay our gratification. When you focus on meeting the needs of others, a magical thing happens: others are more likely to meet your needs! And, yes, you are such a big girl or boy that you can meet your own needs in most cases, and can ask for what you need and want when required. Use your words now...lol.
- BE AVAILABLE. If you are so busy during the holidays that you do not have time to just be available to your partner, children or family, there is something amiss in that picture. If you are over-scheduled, take a look right now at what you can eliminate. Refer to #4 above.
- BE PRESENT. So, you make yourself available. Great start. Now, be fully present. No matter what needs doing or what is coming next, be fully present with whomever you are talking with. If you find yourself making lists in your head while nodding as though you're listening, that's a Relationship Don't!
- BE CENTERED. Take enough time for yourself to stay centered. You know what nurtures and nourishes you to be your best self. Make sure you give it to yourself so you have the best of yourself to give. You cannot give a gift you do not have!
- BE WISE. There are many ways you can demonstrate wisdom. One fundamental way can be expressed by asking yourself this question: "What do I want as a result of this exchange?" If you ask that before you do or say things, you can stop yourself from purposefully damaging a relationship with words and acts of commission and omission! If you don't want to push someone further away, know that before you open your mouth. If something is not worth making a fuss about, asking that question will clarify your next step.
- BE LOVING. Love is expressed in multiple ways. You are free to demonstrate it at will to those you say you love. Some folks withhold it. Don't be one of them!
- BE GIVING. Focus on giving: time, attention, appreciation, openness, availability, energy, love and peace. It's true: what you give comes back to you, expanded! Believe it.
The Relationship Help Doctor says: "It's about presence, not presents! " Watch the video below for more tips on dealing with the holidays.
If you know you need help and are ready to work, you can apply for a free half-hour Relationship consultation. Let's talk before things fester, fracture or fall apart. If they already have, let's see what's best to do with them. I'm Dr. Rhoberta Shaler, The Relationship Help Doctor, and we can work together in my office or through Skype or Zoom.
Want a free one-time half-hour consultation? CLICK HERE
Disclaimer: All advice, insights and suggestions made here are not to be construed as psychological or legal advice. Any actions you undertake as a result of reading any article, book, video, ebook or blog post from Rhoberta Shaler, PhD, are entirely your own. Having worked with individuals and couples for more than twenty-five years, she offers her insights and opinions for your consideration only.