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Dealing with difficulties during the holidays

It’s the holidays! Time for snow, presents, joy, and the best part of all: helping each other out and appreciating each other. But unfortunately, that’s not always the case. The added stress of the holidays can bring out the worst in people, instead of the best. Whether it is someone at the mall, the mall parking lot, someone at work, or the in-laws, tough situations often arise around the holidays.

It can be extremely frustrating to have to deal with one more thing when your plate is overloaded with shopping, holiday preparations, and an end-of-year crunch time work load. I know that I, for one, can easily become overwhelmed during this time of year. I especially stress myself out by trying to get the PERFECT presents for everyone, but starting on this task a wee bit too close to the deadline. Sometimes, with everything that’s going on this time of year it is hard to have the patience for difficult situations.

George C. Scott as ScroogeSo how do you deal with these difficult situations? I really like a tip from this article which recommends distancing yourself from the outcome of a situation when dealing with a difficult person. Many people, especially lawyers as mostly type-A, do-it-all type of people try to fix everything. Taking a step back and realizing that a difficult situation or person does not have anything to do directly with you helps to make the situation less stressful. The “kill them with kindness” advice is another great tip, but only if you can distance yourself from the outcome and not become upset when a difficult person does not respond in kind. But I think the most important thing to keep in mind is to remember that everyone is dealing with many of the same types of things, and just as stressed as you may be. A little empathy can go a long way.

Sure, there are some Scrooges and Grinches out there. However, I tend to think that most of these situations do not arise out of ill-will. Sometimes, for whatever reason, some people are just not going to make things easy for you. What do you do in these situations? Do you take a step back, or do you do something else? I hope that none of the readers run into these situations this season. Happy Holidays!