Home | Classifieds | Place Ad | Public Notices | Galleries | Kudos | Obits | Real Estate | Subscriber Services | Villager | Amazing Grapes | Yellow Pages | Contact Us
The Verde Independent | Cottonwood, Arizona

home : features : columns July 22, 2014


12/15/2009 6:16:00 PM
Marta Adelsman Column: Joy of Christmas communication

Marta Adelsman
Columnist


‘Tis the season when families come together around the Christmas tree and the dinner table. That means it’s time for me once again to share with you some tips about how to make your family communication the best ever.

I know many people who anticipate their Christmas gatherings as a time of connecting and joy. Yet they also dread the family drama that will inevitably arise. Here are some ways to make your holiday communication go smoothly.

1) Start by setting your intentions, prior to the gathering, for how you want the family communication to go. Write down your expectations. For example, “I intend for us to laugh a lot.” “I intend to get along with Aunt Matilda.” “I will have a heart-to-heart conversation with my brother.” “I will take it in stride if I don’t get my way.”

2) Take responsibility for seeing that your expectations are met. Laugh a lot yourself. Initiate discussions. And if you become hurt or “hooked” by the actions or utterances of others, instead of blaming them, take responsibility for your feelings.

3) Withdraw your projections. Doing so most powerfully allows you to take responsibility for your own reactions. Human nature dictates that, when you don’t want to look at something within yourself, you project it outside of you onto someone else. The easiest targets for your projections happen to be family members!

To take back your projections, first acknowledge to yourself, “My reaction is about me, and it has nothing to do with Aunt Matilda.” It’s valuable information for what you need to change. That way, your reaction does not become the fuel for holding a grudge against Aunt Matilda.

I become indignant when I perceive that one of my sons criticizes me. So I withdraw the projection by asking myself, “How do I criticize?”

When I take a look, I see that my version has to do with self-criticism. I can now observe and change how I engage in self-critical thoughts. I no longer have a need to hold my son responsible for my reaction. I can now relate to him cleanly with no blocks in the way.

4) Check out your assumptions. Assuming that others have hurtful or vengeful motives causes a majority of communication snafus. To check out my perception of my son’s criticism, I could say, “What you just said sounded critical to me. Was that your intention?”

Keep in mind that, when others treat you with contempt, anger, derision, criticism, or put-downs, they hold those attitudes toward themselves. Have compassion for them.

Changing family communication can be like turning around an ocean liner that weighs several tons. It takes many years, even generations, to establish patterns that don’t serve. So be patient with yourself and your loved ones as you practice turning around your own ship. Others may follow suit!

Have the Merriest Christmas and Happiest Holiday communication ever!

For affordable communication coaching, contact Dr. Marta at (928) 451-9482 or drmartacoach@gmail.com.


    Recently Commented     Most Viewed
Letter: Do we really need to send high school athletes to California football camp? (32 comments)
Congress takes another step toward saving A-10 fighter from budget ax (3 comments)
Commentary: Everyone, even ranchers, should pay fair share of taxes (18 comments)
Letter: Mingus did not pay a dime for athletes to attend camp (1 comment)
Letter: It's a no parking zone for a reason; police officer made the correct call (2 comments)




Article Comment Submission Form
Comments are not posted immediately. Submissions must adhere to our Use of Service Terms of Use agreement. The email and phone info you provide will not be visible to the public. Rambling or nonsensical comments may not be posted. Comments are limited to 1700 characters or less. In order for us to reasonably manage this feature we may limit your comment entries to five(5) per day.
Submit an Article Comment
First Name:
Required
Last Name:
Required
Telephone:
Required
Email:
Required
Comment:
Required
Passcode:
Required
Anti-SPAM Passcode Click here to see a new mix of characters.
This is an anti-SPAM device. It is not case sensitive.
   


Advanced Search

Find more about Weather in Cottonwood, AZ
Click for weather forecast


Submission Links
 •  Submit your feedback about our site

Find It Features Blogs Celebrate Submit Extras Other Publications Local Listings
Classifieds | Place Ad | Galleries | Kudos | Real Estate | Subscriber Services | e-News | RSS | Site Map | Find Verde Jobs | Contact Us
© Copyright 2014 Western News&Info, Inc.® The Verde Independent is the information source for Cottonwood and Verde Valley area communities in Northern Arizona. Original content may not be reprinted or distributed without the written permission of Western News&Info, Inc.® Verde News Online is a service of WNI. By using the Site, verdenews.com ®, you agree to abide and be bound by the Site's terms of use and Privacy Policy, which prohibit commercial use of any information on the Site. Click here to submit your questions, comments or suggestions. Verde News Online is a proud publication of Western News&Info Inc.® All Rights Reserved.

Software © 1998-2014 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved