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Elizabeth Scott, M.S.

Holiday Family Conflict Resolution

By December 20, 2010

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The holiday season often brings family and friends closer together, but this close proximity--especially for families who see one another relatively little throughout the rest of the year--can often lead to increased conflict. Most of us crave the meals together, the gifts exchanged, the catching up, and expressions of love and appreciation. But often, these hoped-for interactions are accompanied by adult sibling rivalry, less-than-friendly political debates, and the emotional chafing of unresolved issues. Interactions like these have many people anticipating the holiday season with partial excitement and partial dread. Learning to navigate these difficult patterns can not only take much of your stress out of interactions with family members, it can help relive stress for them as well.

The following family conflict resolution resources can help you during holiday family gatherings so they're the joyous, bonding events they were meant to be:

  • Family Conflict Resolution
    How can you get out of the trap of recurring conflicts with family members? USC professor Kathleen Kelley Reardon gives tips for shifting the patterns and altering the tone of interactions with family during the holidays.

  • Do You Suffer From Revertigo?
    What is revertigo, and how does it affect you and your family members? Read about this tongue-in-cheek, but surprisingly common issue that comes up around the holidays.

  • READERS: How Do You Handle Difficult People?
    Difficult people can cause significant amounts of stress, whether they mean to or not. Because we may encounter difficult people in all areas of life--work, school, family, the neighborhood, the community--it's important to have effective strategies for handling difficult people. There are several important things to remember when dealing with difficult people that can make encounters run much more smoothly, and sometimes hearing one person's unique perspective or strategy can make all the difference. Here are more proven tips for handling difficult people, and share your own best strategies that have worked for you.

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