In my previous post I shared two strategies for bringing compassion back into the holidays and avoid the negative drama that can ruin the season. Here are three more tips.
1. Be open and own your feelings
It’s OK to share your feelings as long as you don’t blame someone else for them. Saying, “I am excited for what’s coming,” or “I am uncertain of what will happen next,” is very different than saying, “You make me so mad” or “You hurt my feelings.” When it comes to hot topics, it’s OK to say, “I am uncomfortable talking about this.”
2. Set kind boundaries
Avoiding conflict if it has negative consequences for you is still drama. It’s more healthy to set a boundary. Saying, “I prefer not to talk about this. Will you please respect my boundary?” is assertive, while hiding out in your bedroom to avoid your radical uncle is drama. Although, you still gotta love this classic SNL skit about using a trip to Target as an excuse to escape drama.
3. Express gratitude
If we indulge our pessimistic side, it’s easy to focus on all the things going wrong and how things are unfair. Optimism and gratitude are disciplines that can be cultivated and practiced. When you are together this holiday, and every day, identify and share what you are grateful for. No matter how small, it is good for the soul to be thankful. Here’s an article by Michael Hyatt describing what other well-known names such as Tony Robbins and John Maxwell do to practice gratitude.
Compassion is much more than just empathy. It includes taking care of yourself and bringing hope back into relationships. I wish you a holiday season with more compassion and less drama.
Things to ponder
- How would things change if you took full responsibility for your feelings?
- Do you agree or disagree that optimism is a discipline? Why?