How To Make It Through A Family Vacation With No Fights!

Love, Family

When you're this close, it's hard not to get under each other's skin.

Half the fun of going on holiday is the excitement in the build-up to the big departure day. Everyone has high expectations of one another as well as expecting to have the perfect time while all of the family get to spend a week or two non-stop together. That's the first marker for disappointment; you know that you don't usually spend that amount of time together normally so it might be an idea to consider revising your expectations for the trip. Factor in the heat/sun/alcohol/travel as things that may impact the travel party. Plan who is going to do what when, especially if there are young kids included. It's not Mom's job to do everything. Structure is important as we all have a structure we follow at home. Share your expectations as a family; have a chat before you depart so that everyone is on the same page. Perfection doesn't exist, so that lets you off the hook right away to be realistic in your expectations.

If an argument does occurs between any two people it can be referred to as a "breakdown in communication" because the two people involved are not on the same wave length — literally. It is like trying to listen to the radio while tuned in to the TV. Why is this? Well, we all have a particular behavior style, and depending on what style that is for a person, they like to receive information in a certain way. After reading this you will have an argument free holiday. The behavior styles are as follows: The Analyser style, The Amicable People Pleaser style, The Demonstrative Expressive style & The Bull In A China Shop Driver style. The styles all speak for themselves so take a wild guess at what style you, your partner and everyone else that is going with you might be. Depending on what you decide here is how you need to speak with them to minimise a meltdown.

  1. The Analyser: Likes others to describe things to them accurately, while at the same time respecting them. As it says on the tin, they like to be informed and want to know detail so they can think about things. They will avoid things if they feel uncomfortable.
  2. The Amicable People Pleaser: Likes others' approval and expects others to be sociable and co-operative, they like to process information and explore their feelings. They like guarantees, and if they are uncomfortable they will become passive and withdraw. (That can then be translated into "not interested").
  3. The Demonstrative Expressive: They like to collaborate with others and they like recognition. They like to be given real life examples of anything you are discussing with them as they like to explore their vision of things. If they are uncomfortable in a situation they will attack. (This can be translated into aggression by another).
  4. The Bull In A China Shop Driver: They really like others to be responsive, efficient and decisive; no hanging about with these guys. They have an need for independence and want to know their options. If they are under pressure they will demand.

So you now have a guide on to how to communicate with those people who will be with you on vacation, and you now know that if you spot any of the signs of, aggression, demanding, disinterest or avoidance, you must simply change your style of communication. Think of it as tweaking the radio dial so that what you are listening to becomes clear. The quality of the communication is the response that you get, if you don’t like the response you are getting, change your communication. Finally, if you don't remember all of the details here just remember that something only has meaning if you give it meaning. If someone's communication is annoying you, just say to yourself quietly, "Whatever."

Have a great stress free holiday!