A guest blog today from my lovely friend Dr Mariette Jansen, a psychological coach – thank you Mariette for your words of wisdom. I think we have escaped big arguments on Christmas day but I know there are often niggles and a few moans so I shall remember all this advice!
Did you know that each family will have at least 5 rows on Xmas day? The first starts just after 10 am and the last one ends just before bed, 12 hours later.
40% of children will moan around noon about their disappointments with their presents and 45% of the hosting couples will be argumentative between 1 and 3 pm. Usually about his drinking and her being stressed about not getting help with cooking and serving lunch.
Around 6 pm is the time to bicker about the remote control.
Considering that peace and happiness is one of the key messages for Xmas………
According to Corinne Sweet, Relationship Psychologist, there are generally three reasons for arguments and rows:
Corinne says, “Family flare-ups are inevitable. This is because people who rarely see each other are suddenly thrown together for the whole day and they don’t necessarily like each other or get on”.
To help avoid rows: make sure people can do their own thing and don’t organise the whole group to do everything together. Just set a time to get together for your pre dinner drinks and meal and then let everyone do their own thing, go on walks, pub visits, naps, crosswords, playing electronic games, etc.
Add to that harbouring unrealistic expectations and setting really high standards: striving for the perfect presents, lunch, Xmas decorations and more.
How to avoid irritation and frustration: let go of the perfect day; it doesn’t exist. Go for ‘good enough’ and celebrate the imperfectness. Makes life way easier and more fun.
‘Expectations and disappointments are each other’s best friends’ – Dr Mariette Jansen
And thirdly, most people would like to do something else that day and the energy of hidden ‘resentment’ will come out in a growl or a snap, leading to a bigger argument.
How to prevent resentment mounting: acknowledge potential resentment. Say to a teenager that you understand they would prefer to be somewhere else, but why not make the most of it?
The 7 most common reasons that spark arguments and rows:
1. Board games – being the frustrated and irritated one
2. Choosing the popular Quality Street – being the selfish one
3. Choice of Xmas film – being the influential one
4. Cooking dinner – being the slaving one
5. The washing and cleaning up – being the working one
6. The amount of alcohol consumed – being the ‘I have got time off and why not’ one
7. Old family arguments – being the ‘I was right’ one
Whatever is going to happen this Xmas, I hope you have a great time and less than 5 rows. That would make your Xmas more peaceful than that of the rest of the nation.
About Dr Mariette Jansen
Dr Mariette Jansen (Dr De-Stress), from the Netherlands, ex-bulimic, is a psychological coach, using therapy models, coaching techniques and mindfulness meditation to help clients become balanced, stress-free and in control of their life. Focus areas are work-life balance, confidence, food/diet issues and general stress. Author of two books: on meditation and exam stress. Download the free report on ‘The REAL reasons why DIETS don’t work’ or sign up for weekly tips. Website http://drdestress.co.uk/ Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/drdestresstips