Are you feeling anxiety about that holiday party invite you sent out? You’re not alone.
While there are upsides to parties, there is also the less glamorous side of party throwing: the stress. The pressure behind throwing a party can leave you feeling like Cinderella or Cinder-Fella, slaving away to prepare. Not only does it require a lot of physical energy and preparation, but also social stamina.
What do you do when the reality of stress creeps into your silent night?
When planning a party, you can choose a date far enough ahead to where there is plenty of time to mull over possible stressful scenarios. Whether you invited them or they are part of the family, remember that you have choices and do not have to surrender control of your emotions in high-stress social situations.
- Be proactive.
- Create a win-win plan of action.
- Take captive every thought. When thinking is negative, stress increases.
- Replace negative thoughts with positive focus. This year I will focus on whatever the positive is regarding the historically disruptive person.
- Set some ground rules in advance. This event is a new day, year and opportunity to forge relationships in the direction of kindness.
- Instead of angsting over what might happen again, determine and plan what you will do this time, with this guest and choose courses actions according to the desired results.
- Remember the only person you control is yourself. Plan boundaries of behavior.
- Plan what you will do if/when your emotions start to escalate.
- Exercise the right to take a timeout. Recompose your escalating emotions so that you do not act, say or think thoughts that fuel reactions conflicting with your desired outcome.
- Keep a sober mind; emotions cloud thinking and make bad choices.
Simplify your plans.
The joy of people gathering is what we really want. Why stress over perfection when all it does is feed our constant, insufficient need for approval? It only exhausts us, and often it is counterproductive, making us unpleasant and disgruntled.
In the end, we’re our own worst critic. When it comes to the unrealistic expectation of pleasing everyone on the guest list, the pressure hits hard. So, be at peace with yourself. This holiday take time to think. I’m not saying to not feel, but rather, think about how you feel before you act. After all, you’re also an attendant at this party; remember to treat yourself as you would a guest.
Ask and answer these questions before a gathering in order to come up with a reasonable plan for you.
- Who do you want to be? Character matters.
- What do you want to do? Peace of mind is priceless.
- What do you want to have? Joy, fellowship, and love is why we gather to celebrate.
- Focus on what will produce the results you desire and you too will have a Merry Christmas.
If you need support polishing up on communication skills and how to build winning relationships, attend our live event this January or join online coaching with America’s Conflict Resolution Expert.