During the holidays most of us want to spend time with friends and family, while at the same time avoiding the negative comments and unnecessary disagreements that often come with these celebrations. Here are my five rules on what to say/not say to loved ones during holiday gatherings. Follow these rules to help avoid problems or conflicts with everyone from your significant other to your in-laws.
1) Say what you like, not what you don’t.
Be complimentary. Don’t like a Thanksgiving dish? Don’t mention it and don’t compare it to anyone else’s dish (dead or alive)! Talk about the dish you liked. Didn’t like ANY of the food? Compliment the hostess on her decorations or her outfit. Don’t like those either? You know the saying: If you can’t say something nice, then don’t say anything at all!
2) Say what you’re thankful for, not what you wish was different.
Thanksgiving is a time to acknowledge all of the things we feel thankful for, yet we often spend time complaining. This is not the time to talk extensively about ongoing problems, so talk about things you feel thankful for like your health, family or friendship. As much as people want to “catch up” they also don’t want to be brought down, so stay focused on gratitude instead of ranting for hours about the economy and the job market! You can have those deep conversations the next day.