We’ve just entered into the holiday season at full speed. Holidays are steep in tradition, ritual, religion, and culture. In this day and age we’re mixing these things often but during the holiday season this is happening at some of the deepest levels possible. And even though these are the same things happening all the time we can use this as a  heightened opportunity to learn during this time of year with all the different events and get togethers.

Do you know what that means?

It means that times of deeper meaning and higher levels of importance are at an all time high and I don’t know about you but that also indicates some pretty hefty attachments. We’ve all been imprinted at very deep levels with the things we believe around rituals, religion, and culture. Are you see where I’m going with this yet? That’s right, lots of drinking or other unhealthy coping strategies are engaged in an effort to make everything “just so” with you, your family, your loved ones and your significant other(s). Well… that’s one way, or you could use this time of year to transcend some of the common behaviors and deeply connect with those around you.

I was recently having a conversation with a new friend (earlier today) and we came upon the subject of intercultural/interfamilial relations. (That basically means anyone that’s different than you so pretty much everyone.) Obviously this increases pressure and stress. How in the hell do we keep it all together, or how about even do this really well?

I came up with this list of things from that conversation for maximizing potential for the next six weeks (or for extra credit for the rest of your life.);

Be patient, meaning, listen and be curious about what’s happening and why.
Don’t take things personal, most people are behaving and saying what they are because of themselves and not because of you. (Quit thinking the whole world revolves around you, you narcissist.)
Try to consider where the other person is coming from, we all have reasons we do what we do, they may not be good reasons to you but they are to them. Try to listen to their whole life’s history.
Loosen yourself from your attachments, things don’t always need to be the way you want them to be. Attachments are often at the root of suffering.
Do things because you have a reason, not out of obligation, nothing makes you more dull and dick-ish then acting like you’re doing something because someone is forcing you and then let everyone know around you by acting like an asshole. Find the deeper reasons why you do what you do, like going to the in-laws because your partner is important to you and doing that is important to them.
Let people do their own thing, and this goes both ways. I’m an introvert and I need to make some sort of escape for bits of time to give my batteries a little boost.

What are your strategies for winning with relationships and holidays?

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