Dec 17 2012


If we are to live together in peace, we must come to know each other better.
~Lyndon Johnson


Christmas is a time when we all look forward to having a wonderful, perfect time together as a family, creating beautiful memories, right? How realistic is that?

Get along this Christmas with these tips

Lately, every day on the radio I hear them talking about ‘those family members’ that we dread seeing this time of year. I think every family has at least one of ‘those’. Why can’t we all get along? How can this year be different?

Start Accepting!

I started thinking about that and wondered if we can do more than just stay away from the relative who annoys us. It may be a stretch, but just play along with me. What would happen if you focused on something you like about that person – there has to be something! And what if you found something about what that person says that you can agree with? There must be something! And what if you stopped judging the person and started accepting them just the way they are? (I know – that one’s a real stretch!)

You may not appreciate their opinions, but they do have a right to them. You don’t have to agree with them; they don’t have to agree with yours. What if you listened with an open mind and tried to see it from the other person’s point of view? Instead of focusing on the annoying behaviour, what if you focused on the positive. If you don’t like the topic, change it. What if you asked them something about themselves?

Cover up?

If you’re like me, a person like that annoys me so much that I don’t even want to be near them, let alone have a conversation with them. But their annoying behaviour might just be a cover up for something else; possibly some pain in their lives, or a poor self-esteem. Do you think you can overlook the annoying behaviour in order to find a trickle of positive stuff? Many times, people don’t feel valued; they don’t think people really care about them. Maybe they feel misunderstood. Perhaps they’re doing it for attention. Who really knows?


Kill Them with Kindness! 

I asked my Facebook friends to weigh in with their opinions and here is what they said:

Kerry said: Years ago there was someone I had to interact with on a regular basis who was very objectionable. I tried everything I could think of and as a last resort I decided to adopt the motto “kill ‘em with kindness!” After their initial suspicion, it worked like a charm! And life was much more pleasant for everyone. I must point out that the kindness must be sincere and done in love.

 Christine said: Just been reminded a lot lately about how we should really look at others as through God’s eyes and with God’s heart. Set aside our opinions, judgements and rolling of the eyeballs and actually stop and listen to what they have to say …give compliments ….and humble ourselves before others ...random acts of kindness …smile and mean it. Definitely not always easy but it is possible.

Thanks, Kerry and Christine – I’m going to follow your example this year!


Kindness goes a long way in making another person feel valued and appreciated. Being kind is huge, especially for the person who isn’t used to being on the receiving end! Try it. This Christmas, let’s all vow to be more understanding, more accepting, less judging, more positive – and let’s do random and intentional acts of kindness!

Most of my clients take a break over the Christmas season, because they’re too busy. But one client booked a session specifically to talk about how to avoid stress by being prepared to handle the ‘annoying and difficult’ people on Christmas Day. If that’s the kind of session you need before the big day, contact me and I’ll give you a 50% discount. That 40 minutes just might save your day!

Do you have any other ideas or comments? Let’s hear them and help each other out here.


Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain but
it takes character and self control to be understanding and forgiving.
~Dale Carnegie


Have an annoying-free and kind Christmas!


  1. Karen Van Riesen

    Good words, Betty. It’s so easy to be critical and negative and it doesn’t help anything.
    I have found that learning to walk in humility is powerful. When I get on my ‘high horse’ and get offended by someone else’s behavior, reminding myself to walk in humility causes most of the issues to disappear.
    Karen Van Riesen recently posted..PRESIDENT OBAMA’S CHALLENGEMy Profile

    1. Betty

      Thanks for your comments, Karen. I agree – getting offended does no one any good. Practising humility is a good reminder.

  2. Louise Gallagher

    I have ridden many a high horse, and always, when I fall off, it jolts be back into humility where I find that the best path to being at peace is to surrender and fall into love.

    Thanks for dropping by my place today, Better — isn’t Diana amazing!
    Louise Gallagher recently posted..The Best Books I’ve Never Read (Guest Blog)My Profile

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