Avoid Tempers And Tantrums Around The Turkey

[Cut out article, copy for your friends, post on your refrigerator.]

Ready.  Aim.  Fire!  As the holiday season kicks into high gear, tensions inevitably mount in most loving relationships.  The pressures of family feasts, party roulette, shopping marathons, and obligation overload are enough to make even the best turkey dressing come unglued and ham glaze gummy.  (Historically, January is the months with the highest divorce rate.)  Whether you’re single or married or somewhere in-between, lessons learned by long-married couples who’ve endured decades of holiday stress can help you, your mate, family, and friends keep tantrums and tempers silenced:

Love the one you’re with.  There are so many fine looking men and women attending holiday get-togethers.  Everybody is bubbly happy.  Everyone looks their best.  These observations can magnify the challenges, problems, and issues you and your spouse, partner, or significant other are dealing with on the home-front.  Are you missing something?  Don’t be fooled by all this razzmatazz.  99% of the time the grass is greenest under your own feet.  Instead of wallowing, turn the energy spent in doubt into energy devoted to rekindling the love between you and your loved one(s).

Ignore the braggers (and don’t try to one-up them).  Holiday get-togethers compel people to brag about their gains and make you feel miserable about your life.  People brag about their children’s trophies, their travels to Peru, their stock market gains, their knee replacement, their frequent flyer points, and on and on and on.  With the realization that your list is a lot shorter, you may think: What am I doing wrong?  Or you may gaze into your mate’s eyes and wonder: What are we doing wrong?  The answer: Absolutely nothing.  Whether your accomplishments for 2012 equal 1 or 100, give yourself a big pat on the back.

Does this make me look fat?: It’s the dreaded question guys hate most from ladies, and this is the time of year the ringing echoes.  So many parties.  So many outfits.  So many decisions.  Ladies, don’t ask.  And gentlemen, should they dare, don’t risk ruining the evening (and perhaps the entire next week).  The “correct” answer is to not answer.  A safe, generic response is “Honey, you always look beautiful to me.”  Besides, deep down, every woman knows where her curves should and shouldn’t be.

Never comment about anyone’s weight gain or irritating kids.  If the people are present, you’re stepping on a land mine.  If the people aren’t present, you can be sure the words will somehow very mysteriously get back to them.  These two topics are off the menu unless you want to start World War III.

Never, ever, miss a good chance to shut up.  The venom is certain to come out during family feasts, celebrations with co-workers, and happy hours with friends.  Remember, every comment doesn’t need a retort.  Every issue doesn’t need another opinion.  Speak up when it’s important, and keep your lips zipped when it isn’t.  What you don’t say is often as important as what you do say.

Hug and squeeze, aim to please.  The holiday pace is frenetic and it’s easy to lose your mate and other loved ones in the shuffle.  In the midst of the chaos, don’t forget to nurture relationships.  Everyone can use an occasional hearty hug.  If you’re a couple, discipline yourselves to block out time for each other, just as you do for everyone else.  Actions can be as low key as calling or text messaging to simply say “I’m thinking about you” or taking a 15 minute after-dinner walk together.

Bundling: Here are a few more time-tested relationship tips…Repel little mishaps and misunderstandings with laughter; sprinkle compliments throughout the day; and concentrate on the things you can change and don’t try to fix things you can’t.

These time-tested proven tips will help provide relationship resilience over the next several weeks.  Put them into practice to insure that long after the leftovers are gone, your relationships are still in tact.

Get Along Better provides you relationship tips with a twist of humor.  Want more?  4,000+ years’ worth of advice are documented in Everlasting Matrimony: Pearls Of Wisdom From Couples Married 50 Years Or More, a coffee-table book by Sheryl Kurland.  An excellent gift for weddings, anniversaries, engagements…or just because!

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