🎄 Amazing festive communication strategy for easier Christmas conversations!

insights Oct 05, 2022

Don’t just survive Christmas, enjoy it on your own terms.

Here’s a great little strategy that can provide you with a buffer when it’s all feeling a bit claustrophobic.

Deflect or Connect 👋🏼 / 🧡

Imagine that you have a little switch you can flick, or a curtain you can draw around you. It is not always your choice whether you have an interaction or not, but you can influence how it goes - at least for your side of the interaction.

Deflect unwanted questions from nosy in-laws, probing relatives or annual conversational tedium.

Connect with your loved ones near and dear, and strengthen the less familiar relationships, and even rekindle those that have dropped into the background.

Here’s how to wield this magical communication wand…✨

DEFLECT in THREE different ways

1️⃣ Instead of shrinking back, offer a very light answer and then open up your curiosity onto them by asking questions that start with what or how. It could sound like: “It’s been ok, how has your year been?” Or “Not too bad, what about you, I’d love to hear what you’ve been up to?”

This keeps a conversation going but deflects all the attention away from you. You can even use it in a group by passing the unwanted question over to someone else in the group after you offer a light answer. It’s now a game of smoke and mirrors that you are curating.

2️⃣ Drop in a gentle but firm boundary. This might sound like “Thank you for asking. There is a lot going on there right now, and I would rather not go into it.” Or you could say “I appreciate you asking, it’s not something I want to go into, but I'd love to tell you about [such and such].” This allows you to stay in the conversation but on the subjects that you actually feel comfortable sharing about. Remember, you are in charge!

3️⃣ Finally you can even just get outta there by using the natural lulls and pauses as a get-out-of-jail-free card. Try simply saying these in the natural pauses: “I am going to nip to the loo.” Or “... top up my drink.You can even preface your interaction from the start with something like ‘I’ve got to go help [so and so] do[such and such] In a minute,” and then in the next pause politely excuse yourself.”

The main thing here is to be kind and save their face. I know that can seem like a hard pill to swallow sometimes, but by being communication-flexible you are making it easier and less fractious for yourself. Gentler interactions can be a form of self care at the end of the day.

CONNECT in TWO different ways

1️⃣ Connection emerges from interest… If you are someone who finds it hard to connect, bring your awareness onto the other person rather than into yourself. They will often be offering you little olive-branch cues by what they say and do that you can ask about. Such as “I heard you say that you are starting a new course in the new year, what is that about?” Or “I notice that you have changed your look, it’s fab, what prompted it?”

2️⃣ In turn you can also offer little olive-branches of connection yourself. Share a little more detail than usual so that others can ask about it, or might resonate with it. Always share as much as you are comfortable with, and know that the details create the conversation that ultimately leads to connection.

Connection grows from intimacy, and intimacy grows in the details of how we resonate with and understand each other. Share what has interested you this year, what has been tough, where have you been growing and extending your comfort zones, what rocks your world and why?

Above all remember that you are in charge of your own boundaries. You never have to answer a question you don’t want to - it’s Christmas not a legal interrogation!! Seek out the wanted connection moments and they will act like a balm to the more spiky ones.

Go well, and see you in the new year you beauties!!

Christmas love,

Thea