So Christmas is fast approaching! A time when our already hectic lives become even more frenzied – Ahhhh the joys!
But amongst all our frenetic duties, is there a better time to let our friends and family know that we have them in mind?
Last minute planning, late hours and disagreements can definitely put strain on relations but with the right mind set and simple tools, you can build healthier festive relationships!
Want to know how? Let’s find out…
Five Ways To Strengthen Your Relationships
1. Communicate More
Communication is the golden rule of strong relationships, and the funny thing is, people tend to overlook it.
It will shock you to know that over 80% of relationship issues are caused by misunderstandings and poor communication patterns, which could have been resolved if one party just let out what they have been bottling up inside.
Being honest, vulnerable and openly sharing intimate feelings with your other half will foster trust, closeness and ease any tension in your relationship.
So, this Christmas, talk! Talk to your partner, your parents, your children, your neighbours; talk to anyone who you want to develop a relationship with!
Call more than usual, chat more than usual and have face to face conversations more than usual.
Communication does not only keep people in each other’s hearts; it helps us to better understand whoever we are communicating with, so, speak up!
2. Do The Little Things
Here is another big win for happy and robust relationships: doing little things.
The sweetest things don’t always come from the most expensive acts or gifts. In fact, staying with a friend when she or he is having a bad day this Christmas can mean a lot more than buying an expensive present when it isn’t needed.
Do those little things, things that your friend, partner, or family member wouldn’t expect you to do.
Go out of your way to drive down to your friend’s office in the middle of the day to say “Hi” and have a catch up. The pleasant shock and laughter you get face-to-face will warm both hearts and keep your relationship fresh.
Okay, I can already hear some people saying “nope, not this time.” Well, sorry to break it to you, there isn’t any perfect friend, brother or lover out there and there is no better time to forgive than during Christmas.
Forgiveness means letting go of the past and “living in the now.” Forgiveness is a key part of successful long-term relationships and although forgiving is often portrayed as a sign of weakness in society, it is quite the opposite… Only the strong of mind forgive.
There is no peace without forgiveness.
Think of it this way, a perfect relationship is a friendship between two forgivers, you let go, and they also let go.
Make it a point of duty this season to:
- Let go of any tension
- Put things into perspective
- Understand the other person’s position
Not only will this help in relationship building, it will also allow you to focus your energy on having a more loving and productive Christmas with your friends and family.
4. Try New Things
This Christmas, take your friends or your family out on a trip they never expected and see how much fun it brings.
Trying new things doesn’t necessarily have to be a long distance trip, it could be visiting a place you never thought you would go or eating something your friends are sure you would never eat.
Take the challenge set in our article: “Use Christmas To Practice And Improve Your Skills” to try something that you have never thought you would do. The chances are you will enjoy it!
Lasting memories are created when you partake in new adventures which can be shared amongst family and friends for years to come.
Reminiscing always brings back good feelings!…
5. Visit Old Memories
Thinking of where to take your friends that will leave them gasping? How about a place you all loved to visit when you were younger or still courting.
Bringing back old memories is a very strong way to reconnect with friends and family over Christmas. You can walk through old restaurants in your country home or have a drink in an old pub you once loved.
When you sit in an old place with your friend, chances are you will both start talking about all the times you shared around that area and this will leave you thankful and happy together.
Tips To Avoid Relationship Fights Over Christmas
1. Keep To Time
When the season comes, you will be stuck with a lot of planning and running around, sometimes forgetting an appointment you kept with a friend or loved one.
Don’t make that mistake this Christmas, the other person could also be going through some tough times and the last thing they need is you standing them up.
Set reminders if you have to and go along with a little gift if possible.
2. Involve Others – Compromise
Don’t make all the decisions alone and feel that your friends or family members will just catch up and be “okay with it.”
Things like that can easily be considered as acts of selfishness, so try as much as possible to consult them before you make any decision that involves others.
This opens up your relationship to other people and allows them to be part of your life as well.
The destination that you always thought your daughter wanted to visit might not seem like so much fun to her anymore.
3. No Panicking
Okay, just in case you didn’t know, even when the best plans have been put into place, three months ahead, disappointments can still happen.
If you find out reservations you made for a trip were canceled due to unforeseen circumstances or a situation you thought was settled is still glaring at you in the face, chances are your family or friends might start to complain and panic first.
Try to make alternative arrangements where possible and under no circumstances should you panic along with them.
This puts a strain on the scenario and will most likely lead to arguments about who is to blame rather than how to solve the problem.
If possible, let them solve the problem along with you.
4. Wear Your Humour Cap
Have you realized that no matter how angry you think you might be at a certain time, just a word at the right time can leave you cracking up like a kid?
That is the power of humour. It doesn’t just start overnight, but you can get better at it, you don’t have to be a natural comedian.
Use humour when you feel negative emotions rising – one angry rant can ruin a perfect Christmas evening.
Naturally, people love be around humorous people because they always find a way to make any situation better.
5. Be Open About Finances
Financial issues are one of the top things that cause relationship quarrels and problems over the holiday.
If your family has an expectation from you, that you know you are not financially capable of handling, tell them!
Although money plays a significant role in planning for trips and visiting special places or buying new things, money isn’t everything.
Letting them know about your financial position well before Christmas will quickly give them the time to adjust whatever plans they had in mind.
When it comes to Christmas gifts, you don’t have to break the bank to make people happy. You might have a necklace, or a book that your friend always wanted and giving it to him or her could make their Christmas the best one yet.
With all the love, happiness and cheer that comes with the Christmas season, there is always an unmissable hint of stress, worry and fatigue which can affect a good relationship.
Manage your Christmas challenges with tips in this article to have an amazing, stress free holiday!
In the midst of all the “doings” you have lined up for the season, remember to have maximum fun at all times but don’t miss out on opportunities to just relax and let yourself breathe.