Over the holidays family members can get stressed with all of the expectations of a perfect Christmas. When strong characters clash, tension can arise and conflict can occur. If you would like to eliminate some of the holiday stress please read my article titled ‘Tis the season to be stressed; how to leave stress behind you for good’.
One of the key ways we can reach compromises with family members is to respect the rights of others whilst protecting our own rights by using assertiveness.
In her book ‘A Woman In Your Own Right: Assertiveness And You’ Anne Dickson lists the following as our intrinsic rights:
- I have the right to state my own needs and set my own priorities as a person, independent from any roles that I may assume in my life.”
- I have the right to be treated with respect as an intelligent, capable and equal human being.
- I have the right to express my feelings.
- I have the right to express my opinions and values.
- I have the right to say ‘no’ and ‘yes’ for myself.
- I have the right to make mistakes and forgive myself.
- I have the right to change my mind.
- I have the right to say ‘I don’t understand’ and ask for more information.
- I have the right to ask for what I want.
- I have the right to decline responsibility for other peoples problems.
- I have the right to deal with others without being dependent on them for approval.
In order to protect your family members rights and your own whilst trying to resolve conflict and reach a compromise assertiveness is key. Please read ‘Assertiveness; A journey worth taking’ which delves into how we can effectively use assertiveness in our communication with others.
Often people confuse assertiveness for a means to get your own way but in reality it is always about finding a solution that would work for both of you. For example, if you want to watch a Christmas movie and your dad wants to watch comedy reruns you could honor him by watch an hour of comedy reruns followed by a Christmas movie of your choosing.
Do you struggle over the holidays with family conflict? Have you ever tried to compromise? Are you familiar with assertiveness and if so has it helped you better communicate with your family? Please share your thoughts in the comments below to gain encouragement, insight and support from our community, we’d love to hear from you.