It’s almost Thanksgiving and I am giving you all something to be thankful for: an article that IS NOT about being thankful for the good things in your lives!
I am, however, going to help you reduce stress from one of our most common holiday traditions: the family argument.
Thanksgiving is typically a time for family get-togethers, oftentimes including people that you only see at this time of year. There is Uncle Al who drinks too much, the brother-in-law that can’t hold a job, the sister that you haven’t spoken to because of something that happened twenty years ago, and the youngsters that simply will not behave no matter what you do. Maybe you consider all of them to be turkeys, but it’s the holidays and you need to see them, don’t you?
Then there are the men who gather around the TV to watch football when you think they should be spending time with the family… need I go on?
Here is the thing to remember: keep it close to your heart, write it on your hand, put up a big sign, whatever it takes so you don’t forget it. Are you ready?
Agree to disagree.
The reality of life is that no one really wins an argument; one person simply backs down first and gives up trying to convince the other(s). This can be very stressful and cause all kinds of tension and bad feelings.
It’s the holidays folks, so try not to engage. Speak your position calmly and then, if all else fails, agree to disagree. Toni Grant, a well-known psychologist who has been on talk radio for years says this, “Do you want to be right or do you want to be loved?” Sometimes that’s the choice, and you have to make it and then live with it.
I’m going to venture a guess that more than 99% of the time it just doesn’t matter. I’ll repeat that… “It just doesn’t matter” who’s right. In fact, maybe no one is “right” because you are arguing over opinion.
Let it go. Agree to disagree. Decide to be loved rather than to be right.
And have a happy and less stressful Thanksgiving with your family!
This article is one in a series on coping strategies for patients and caregivers alike.