Avoiding Holiday Arguments

Whether it’s coming together for the festive period or a two-week beach vacation, holidays are meant to be a time for fun and relaxation, particularly when you’re joined by friends or loved ones. But, often, spending more time than usual with your nearest and dearest can lead to conflict and arguments.

So what can you do to help smooth the way? The key is to get together in advance to chat through your expectations.

Holidays at home

If you’ve invited people to your home for festive celebrations, let them know whether you expect them to chip in and help or whether you’re happy for them to sit back and relax while you get on with the hosting.

It can be frustrating to watch everyone else having a great time at your expense and not lifting a finger to help but if you don’t ask for help, you often won’t get it. If your guests are invited to stay overnight, let them know how many days you expect them to stay. It can also be useful to let your guests know how late you like to stay up in the evening.

Catering for guests until the early hours can be annoying if you’re usually tucked up in bed by 10pm. By letting them know that you’ll be heading off to bed but are happy for them to help themselves to anything they need, you can all stick to your preferred routines without upsetting one another. Setting the ground rules in advance can save a lot of resentment further down the line.

Holidays abroad

If you’re travelling to a foreign country with friends, things can be even more difficult. From negotiating unfamiliar city streets to dealing with a confusing currency there are endless sources of contention when abroad.

The first rule is to only go abroad with people you know very well. If you’re already aware of people’s little habits and peculiarities, they will be much less annoying once you’re away from home. Discovering that a friend is childish, argumentative or mean with their money isn’t much fun at any time but particularly not when you’re stuck with them in a villa for two weeks!

Be open and honest about what you expect from the holiday. If you plan to do nothing but laze on a sun lounger every day but your friends are trying to arrange hectic sightseeing trips, it can lead to frustration. It’s also a good idea to discuss in advance how you will split finances. Will you each pay for your own meals and trips for example, or will you create a joint kitty?

If you’re taking children away with you, it’s important for parents to chat in advance about ground rules. Perhaps you like to give your kids more freedom on holiday while your friends prefer to stick to the same routines that they have at home. It will be much easier for everyone if you can agree before you go, rather than having arguments about parenting approaches once you are away.

Remember, a holiday or celebration should be a time for enjoyment and relaxation. If you find your loved ones are causing stress or tension, maybe take a few hours to relax by yourself.

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