You know what’s a terrible idea at home or work?
No holiday season tugs at your heart strings more efficiently than Christmastime, even if you’re not Christian, but here’s the thing about forced peace treaties: any amicable arrangement forged without the hard work of authentic and genuine reconciliation isn’t a treaty at all.
At best, it buys you time to pivot.
At worst, bad attitudes fester and things get worse.
(Just ask the people who live in the West Bank. Or Syria. Or Western Africa.)
If the United Nations and The Vatican can’t work out a solution for the Central African Republic Civil War, you might want to put down the bottle of wine before you pick up the phone and text your estranged family member. I know that movie on the Hallmark Channel spoke to you, but let’s reconsider how you feel in the morning.
(Hungover. That’s how you’ll probably feel.)
And before you make amends with your nemesis at work, or, indeed, anyone who is causing conflict in your life, make sure you understand the genesis of your disagreement. While every battle I fight for budget seems noble, the primary battle sometimes gets lost in a secondary emotional battle for ego and pride. You’re going to want to sort through all of that — your pride and ego, your nemesis’s pride and ego — before you ask her to do shots with you at the holiday party.
I love and admire people who can see the good in a bad situation. Because my grandmother was a big fan of evening soap operas like Dallas and Knots Landing, I also love dramatic holiday reconciliations. But the holidays are sneaky, and corporations trick us into thinking that candlelight, feathered hair and a VISA card will make everything better.
(Although feathered hair might work, but only if you wear white pants.)
Before you go headfirst into a new version of an old relationship, try to understand why that old relationship is broken. Maybe start a new tradition, this holiday season. Give yourself permission to move on from a job, a coworker or a family member who keeps bringing you down.
Seems like a pretty good gift to me.