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Family holiday gatherings can be challenging. Five ways to enjoy the holidays and eliminate challenges with difficult family members.

Have you ever attended a holiday gathering with family and always encountered that relative that knows just what to say to get under your skin? You know the type of person who never has anything nice to say about anyone and wants to share their opinion with you. How do you handle those encounters, do you try to avoid them or do you just listen and put up with it?

Family Gathering

I recently attended a family gathering and walked around the room so I can connect with each family member I haven’t seen in a while and catch up on what’s new and by using the tips below I had a wonderful time.

I recently learned five ways that helped me to enjoy amazing conversations with people that would normally drive me up a wall.


  1. Make it a point to not talk about politics or religion. These two topics seem to bring out the worst in people. When my aunt starts to give me her opinion about politic or religion I just deflect her question with my own question. How do you know that the information you heard is true? Where did you hear the information? Did you check out the story for yourself? By asking these questions I am urging them to be responsible for the information they share and to validate the story to be true instead of just taking the word of the news anchor reporting the story.
  2. Listen for a topic the person likes and asking them what excites them the most about it. For example, if they like American football you might ask them who their favorite team is and why they like that team better than other teams. By asking personal questions you build rapport and commonalities between the two of you.
  3. When a family member attempts to bring up or open an old wound from the past don’t react but respond with love instead knowing that each person is doing the best they can with the tools they have been given. Many of us were never taught how to talk about difficult subjects without getting upset or defensive. By responding in love you can defuse the most difficult conversation and create an opportunity for rebuilding your relationship on a healthy foundation.
    Love is the answer


  4. Recruit all family members to participate in a project of building your family tree and documenting your heritage. By finding ways you are connected and where each family comes from you building a legacy of for your children’s children and their children and you will learn fascinating facts about your family and create fascinating topics to talk about when you are all reunited at the next gathering.
  5. Find ways to stay connected with your family members using Facebook or other social media platforms this will allow you to build deeper connections with your family so that when you gather again you will have many common things to talks about.

Feel free to leave me a comment.


Have a wonderful week!


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