The holidays are here again, and although it is a time that’s supposed to be filled giving and love, there are still plenty of opportunities to get into undesirable situations with family members. Stress can be high, and if there are certain relationships within the family that aren’t as strong as others, the odds of conflict are already high. Using your influence skills properly can not only help smooth over the dreaded Christmas dinner political argument, but potentially even avoid it all together, and isn’t that all anyone really wants for Christmas? That being said, here are three influencing tips to help you get through the holidays.

1: The ability to remain neutral/present

As always, the ability to succeed in any influence situation starts with you, and how you’re doing internally. If we’re overly emotional, our energy is flying all over the place and we tend to lash out, say things we don’t mean out of anger, and generally make bad decisions that negatively impact our relationships. So, ask yourself, where is your energy? Is it scattered/up in the air, or do you have a tight grip on it? If you need help, you can watch one of our grounding videos on Facebook to re-acclimate yourself.

2: Listening Skills

When someone doesn’t feel like they’re being listened to, it can tend to cause them extra harm over what they’re already feeling. This may seem obvious, but use your listening skills to not only try to figure out the root of the problem, but to help calm down the other party. Parroting is a great technique that’s simple to use, and allows the other person to go into more detail regarding their feelings.

3: Use Bridging

Bridging is a powerful tool in these sorts of intense family situations, especially if confronted with the uncomfortable scenario of someone withdrawing from the festivities due to conflict. Allowing yourself to become vulnerable will make the other person feel more comfortable, and can prompt them to open up to you in a way that you can bring them back into the fold. It’s also a great first step to apologizing should you have forgotten about step 1 at any point.

Keep these tips in your mind, and the holiday season could be your best yet!