These are not typical times and this Thanksgiving is shaping up to be pretty atypical. I have already noticed Christmas Trees being sold outside of many markets. Most of us are facing many disappointments, and have been dealing with a lot of emotions. We are tired, frustrated and fatigued. It might not take much to push us over the edge and become emotionally reactive. Not only may we be sitting on our emotional edge, but other family members are dealing with a lot of frustration and may be exhausted also from the past years events, or lack of them. This could be a receipt for something quite different from a nice Thanksgiving meal. One thing that we have seen relatively consistently over the past months is that people are often not seeing eye to eye. Families are not only divided regarding issues of safety and social distancing, but we are divided regarding our political orientations, and beliefs. Now we are going to be inviting people to our house for a holiday dinner and they will either come or reject our invitation. The wife may want to come but the husband may not, or vice versa. Or we will be invited and may choose to go or refuse the invitation. If there hasn't been already, there is the potential for a fair amount of conflict. What can we do to reduce conflict and make this Thanksgiving the best holiday it can be. Unfortunately it is easy to understand our own point of view, but we may have some difficulty accepting other people's viewpoints, opinions, and decisions. Can we make an extra effort to understand what it might be like for the other, despite how we feel and what we want. What a great time to be practicing active listening, patients, and understanding. I would say compassion, but I feel like I have been wearing that word out recently. What a great way to bring closeness to our families when we may not be together, due to fears of Covid, or individuals just being more careful than usual. At some point the holidays will be over and the pandemic will be gone. That's right the friggin pandemic will be gone! We have the opportunity to develop closeness, through patience and understanding, or we choose conflict and hurt feelings that may last many years past the Covid 19. It is so easy to target some one right now particularly when there is such a build up of emotion. I remember Klint Eastwood's line "Go ahead make my day". Just give me the opportunity to unload some of this frustration an anger that has been building up in me for the last nine months. The release of pent up energy may initially feel great, but it only lasts a few seconds, however it may be followed by years of regret. This is not likely something we would plan, but we may need to be careful that it might just jump out there when we are not looking. Happy Thanksgiving!
Can We Avoid Thanksgiving Conflict?
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