It’s holiday time again. A time filled with family, fun, friends and… fights.
With family gatherings and the pressure to be and make everyone happy, December and January can be the most stressful months of the year. How can we keep our cool to be sure our relationships stay strong and improve in 2014? I offer you 5 simple tips to keep peace and grow your relationships.
5 Ways to Fight Less and Love More in Your Relationships
1. Pick the Right Battles
Your spouse comes home from work drenched from the rain because he forgot an umbrella. You told him to take one that morning after you heard the weather report. Before you start criticizing him for being soaked, ask yourself this wise question, “Does this affect me?”
In this example, it doesn’t. He is drenched, not you. So don’t pick that battle. In the future, when a family member, friend or co-workers makes a mistake that doesn’t affect you, rather than using a “fight line” like “I told you to take an umbrella, you should have listened to me!” use a compassionate love line like, “You’re all wet. Do you want a towel?”
FYI… If you find it hard to say those words, just say nothing.
Related: 7 Ways to Have Lasting Relationships
2. Give a Character Compliment
In researching my book we did an on-line survey and found some interesting results that can help us understand how to have better relationships. There is a specific type of compliment that people want to receive. When we asked individuals “would you rather your mate compliment you for being kind or good-looking?” the result was that 84 percent of people said “kind.”
The lesson: find daily opportunities to compliment other people’s character (such as his/her generosity or kindness to a friend, relative or colleague). Offer up character compliments to your children whenever possible.
3. Avoid Premature Arguments
My clients are smart people, who often have dumb arguments. One type of these battles threatens almost every relationship. I call it the “premature argument.” Look out for those times when you get into a brawl with someone about a decision that doesn’t have to be made for weeks, months or years, such as where to spend Christmas Day…