Christmas is approaching, and for many families there is the tradition that Christmas Day shall be spent together. Presents will be opened, dinner served, and alcohol consumed! We anticipate that there may be a lot of drama, emotional outbursts, or even the odd argument. You cannot force your bickering relatives to suddenly get along with each other, but, it can help to understand and appreciate personality differences within your family, so here are just a few tips on how you could make this Christmas a little jollier!
1. Choose gatherings wisely –spending Christmas stuck on the M25 rushing to Uncle Jeff’s house in time for your second round of turkey, in an attempt to avoid hurt feelings, does not make for the perfect Christmas! Tellingly, a recent survey by the Mail-online that for 60 per cent of people the most stressful thing about Christmas is not rallying around buying presents or running into debt, but deciding which side of the family to spend the day with. So plan ahead and make sure everybody knows well in advance to minimize stress!
2. Celebrate the differences in your family— there aren’t many occasions within the year where people of all ages, backgrounds and personalities gather under one roof – and the best bit of all is that you are related to all of them! Remember to focus on the positive aspects of such differences. Today is not the day to attempt to convince your family that their political or religious views are wrong, and that they should change them to match your views.
3. Get Involved – remember that for whoever hosts Christmas, this is the culmination of hours of slaving and months of stress especially for perfectionists who want the day to go just right! So why not bring out your conscientious side and offer to do your bit, whether it’s laying the table or peeling the sprouts, your offer of help will be a welcome relief!
4. Use humour to dissipate arguments – it is inevitable that when families are brought together personality conflicts are bound to arise. What starts off as a healthy debate can easily escalate into a heated argument, so try and diffuse the situation with a funny story or a silly joke!
5. Avoid overindulging- alcohol and family generated burning resentment do not make for a good combination and will inevitably lead to some kind of argument, so try not to overdo it!
6. Open presents with low expectations! –every year it is inevitable: Aunty Dot’s infamous socks! You know they’re coming so why not practice your surprised and happy face, instead of the usual face of disappointment! Gift giving is an ancient tradition and a way of showing thoughtfulness, love and affection, so remember …it is not a competition over who spent the most!
7. Understand your personality differences – being aware of family member’s personality can help you interact with them better, and there is less chance of a war breaking out this Christmas! For example, if Aunty Dot is slightly more introverted than others she will probably find it quite tiring being around the family for an extended period of time, and would benefit from some peace and quiet after a lively game of charades. As for Mum, if the gravy is lumpy, try your best not to point it out! Her tendency to be more anxious than others often leaves her easily upset by criticism. Being aware of these personality differences can help us determine situations in which we will get on, and help us avoid situations in which we will experience stress.
Want to find out more about your personality?
One quick an easy way to understand your personality is to take the free personality test on PersonaBubble. Invite your family to find out your compatibility, it may help improve your relationships during the festive period. Let us know what you discover in the comment section below.