How To Handle A Holiday Argument

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Avoiding holiday arguments is as much a fantasy as the existence of Santa Claus, so we’re not going to waste time telling you how to keep your head down (and you shouldn’t—but we’ll get to that later). If you find yourself embroiled in a caustic exchange with your girlfriend, here are some tips to make sure your relationship remains intact come New Year’s Day.

 
 

Keep it private
Don’t let your bickering affect the Christmas cheer of those around you. If you’re visiting the folks, broker a deal to keep things civil until you’re back in a more private setting. Your family will appreciate not being dragged into it. The ceasefire might make you realize that whatever you’re fighting over isn’t such a big deal, after all. If the fight is serious, cooling your emotions won’t hurt, either.

Be understanding
If your girl gets irate, relate to her state of mind before leaping in with your guns blazing. People have high expectations around this time of year. Seeing things from her point of view can help diffuse the situation, and may provide you with a way to help make things right. Who knows—maybe you can save the day.

Take time to yourself
Faced with nearly infinite amounts of holiday stress, you’ll be willing to dive into just about any argument that presents itself. A solo activity such as taking a walk, meditating, or just chilling in the basement with a glass of eggnog can help you blow off some steam, effectively reducing the chances of saying something you don’t mean and sparking a spat.

Don’t put the holidays on a pedestal
Chances are that you’re scared stiff of having a squabble, lest you ruin that special holiday vibe. Truth is, couples argue all the time—the time of year doesn’t matter. Work out your differences and move on. If you take precautions to avoid a fight, you’ll be walking on pins and needles the whole time and she’ll be walking all over you. Not a good feeling.

Just take the hit

The fight, although civil, is dragging on. At this point, it may be the best strategy for you to pull the eject cord in order to keep the peace. (Unless it means missing the NBA games played on Christmas Day—that’s a hill we’ll gladly die on). Theoretically, the slate will be wiped clean on Jan. 1, 2015, so the timing couldn’t be better.
 
   
 
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