Table Rules For The Holidays
by Daniel Duwa
For the past six weeks, one conversation that has come up the most is “How do I deal with difficult conversations or situations during the holiday?”
The past couple of years and especially the three years have had everyone in lockdown and a world that seem to be in flame just got everyone spooked. We all love our family, friends, and collogue but the holidays sometimes bring out rather uncomfortable conversations. One of the reasons is that everybody hasn't each other, there is limited time and not enough to deal with the deeper conversation. A simple question might trigger a misunderstanding and often conflicts.
Also, there are plenty of underlying factors, a lot of things that have never been dealt with and there is a feeling of being cornered and pigeonholed.
It's not the end of the world. And even if it is, there would be much you can do to stop the world from ending. If you have hosting duties, create an environment that fosters openness but not toxic conversations. Shut down any attacks against anyone. Also once everyone has settled in, call in a greet-up meeting where you set the ‘table-rules’. Acknowledge that there is some difficult conversation, different opinion, and business, but this is the holidays and invite everyone to get into the spirit by allowing them the freedom to enjoy themselves and each other. People don’t last forever, but memories do. Making fantastic memory is worth more than being indifferent or different, especially for superficial things such as the politician you support, what you believe in or what you don’t. You can be agreeable without agreeing and that is okay.
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