The holidays can bring out the best and worst in people. Good and bad memories, old emotional wounds and future expectations seem to converge during the holiday season, creating situations that can lead to conflict.
If you mix alcohol, money worries and other sensitive triggers, what began as an innocent conversation can quickly escalate into an argument. It is well known that depression rates rise this time of year.
If you are concerned about a possible conflict with a friend or family member, remember a little patience goes a long way. It is one of the best ways to show kindness toward others who might be having a rough time.
For example, consider spending extra time with that elderly relative who feels everyone has forgotten them. Be a listening ear to someone who feels misunderstood. Try to find common ground with someone whom you normally don’t see eye-to-eye.
Christmas is about the Savior who was sent to earth to forgive us. What better way to honor the holiday than to practice forgiving others. This is time to be humble and let bygones be bygones. This is a time for healing the past and looking forward to a bright new future in 2016.
You may have to go out of your way to extend the proverbial olive branch. It may seem unnatural or counterintuitive to be extra supportive to someone you disagree with. But it will be worth it in the end. And remember, the seeds of kindness that you plant now may not come back to you through the same person. What is important is that they will come back.
Sometimes people feel let down after the holidays. It is as if the magic fades once all the presents are unwrapped. But if we see each other as a gift, we can begin to discover new things about them (“unwrap” their potential) throughout the new year.
Whoever you celebrate Christmas or Kwanzaa with this year, remember to be extra sensitive to their needs or issues. Be a supportive friend and help them find the joy that they may have been missing.
Being patient with others is a gift that is really priceless.
Happy holidays to you and yours!