Dreaming of a Christmas day that runs smoothly with no problems between anyone in your family? A leading clinical psychologist recommends to start planning now to ensure conflict can be avoided on the ‘big day’.
In an interview on 774 ABC Melbourne earlier today, Professor Jane Fisher (Director of research at Melbourne’s Jean Hailes Foundation) said that while most family members came together for a peaceful gathering, the potential for conflict remains extreme.
“We approach these [occasions] with high expectations, perhaps excessive expectations,” she said during the interview, “We expect it’s going to be a particularly joyful or pleasant and then we’re disappointed when it falls short.
Professor Fisher recommends reviewing what happened at last year’s Christmas celebrations and changing family habits to plan for a gathering with less potential for conflict.
Implementing changes to the ways gifts are bought, ensuring the workload of the day is evenly distributed and even changing the gathering meeting place to a neutral location can assist to decrease the likelihood of negative interactions.
“This is about disrupting some of those habitual ways of doing things…[asking] can we do this better or can we do this differently?” explained Professor Fisher, “Meet in a park, go to the beach and recognise that the blinding row is not actually a great solution.”
What is your top tip for avoiding conflict at Family gatherings across the holiday period? Share your experiences and ideas below!
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