“I think I’m gonna pass.” By Chris Heedles

So who has finally woken up from their turkey-induced coma? I haven’t, but I really need to not eat for the whole month of december….Hopefully most of the food is pretty much gone and you’ can return to your regularly scheduled programming of EMOMS and AMRAPS. Like it for not, Holiday season is upon us but food is just the beginning of what’s to come. Some of us may have gotten a healthy dose of carbs over the past few days but we may also have got a huge helping of confrontation. The holidays provide us with opportunities to share with family, but once we get around the dinner table, awkwardness is inevitable.

Holidays can be hard because of the amount of time we experience confrontation. The aunt you haven’t seen in years asking when you’re going to settle down, or questioning about your weight or what you’re doing with your life. Those are always fun. You want to snap back like kermit sipping coffee, but you avoid it all. You rationalize it in your head and you decide to not lunge across the table. WHY, because confrontation is icky, awkward, and downright uncomfortable. We avoid it because naturally we shy away from anything that produces negative emotions. The funny thing is though, avoiding the awkward conversations is contradicting. We let things simmer and build up and all of a sudden, its not just your grandma’s famous gravy that’s boiled over and exploded all over the kitchen. Conversations at the table around the holidays may seem minor but if we don’t face them head on immediately, then we begin to feel invalidated, rejected, and unsure of what are needs really are. Below are some steps to help you learn to be better at confrontation so you don’t have to dread the holidays anymore.

1. Be Timely:Address problems when they are small. Quicker = less build up

2. It’s about making people on your team "right," not "wrong.”:Confrontation is about closing a gap between what should happen and what is happening. Communicate to find a solution, not to bring someone down.

3. Make it about issues, not people: You don’t want the other person to feel attacked. This is why it’s important to confront the issue not the person or their character.

4. Be Concise: If you’re not concise, you risk losing your power. Use facts, not feelings, and be specific about what the issue is

5. Communicate with a reasonable tone of voice: nothing gets solved by raising your voice.

6. Aim at a resolution or next-step:Leave the convo with a future game plan for change.

7.  Follow-up: Check the status of the issue. This is also an opportunity to remind the other person that you care about him or her.

Its not easy but it is well worth the practice to give yourself peace of mind and stand up for yourself.