13 DAYS OF A MERRY CHRISTMAS…RELATIONSHIP!
Men’s Counselor Jason Fierstein Gives 13 Tips to Help Relationships Survive the Holidays
November 30, 2009- Phoenix, AZ – With the holiday season in full swing, emotions, tempers and tantrums can flare. Jason Fierstein, owner and founder of Phoenix Men’s Counseling, has created 13 humorous but practical tips to help all relationships survive this sometimes tumultuous season.
Tip #1 – Avoid Heat Seeking Land Mines! – Every couple should have a strategy between each other on how to troubleshoot potential road hazards; the father that always criticizes, the perfectionist mother-in-law . Anticipate behavior so you and partner know not be REACTIVE. Remember, alcohol and sugar combined can help set off those land mines.
Tip #2 – Pigskin Planning – Communicate with your partner ahead of time how each social scenario is going to play out. For example, first there will be dinner, then everyone gets up from the table and watches football, then there is an intense discussion of what movie to go see…etc. Let your partner know what to expect so that he/she can anticipate what is going to happen.
Tip #3 – Be A Yes Man – Be a “Yes” man especially if you and your partner are hosting festivities in your home. Be aware that this will be a stressful time for your spouse, girlfriend or partner. Get into customer service mode… you can’t lose with “how can I be of help.”
Tip #4 – Don’t Let Credit Cards Pull Your Sleigh – Have the holiday budget talk with your partner. Sit down and come up with a gift giving strategy. Figure out how much you are going to spend per each person and discuss and agree on the budget before shopping.
Tip #5 – The Holidays Can Gobble You Up – there are so many ways that they holidays can erode good will, just trying to find a parking space in a busy mall, can raise ire and frustration. Allow yourself plenty of time to accomplish the tasks at hand and be mindful of keeping realistic expectations.
Tip #6 – Prevent an FUI – Family Under the Influence – The word libation is a word close to liberation and verbal liberation can cause a lot of family strife. You may get yourself in a verbal situation that can become triggers for old family issues. Make a pact with yourself and your spouse or partner to an alcoholic drink maximum (before drinking begins) and vow to not let others who are drinking push your triggers.
Tip #7 – Does This Dress Make Me Look Fat? – Men need to be sensitive to the fact that a woman’s physical appearance and perceptions are highlighted during the holidays. Be complimentary and sincere…and don’t even think about mentioning any holiday weight gain!
Tip #8 – In Case of An Emergency Break the Glass – have an exit strategy with your partner. A key word, phrase or tug of an ear to let the other know that you are at your family, office or holiday party limit and it is time to go.
Tip #9 – Stay in DMZ (the Demilitarized Zone) – Agree to stay on neutral ground whether with family or co-workers. Don’t ask questions or bring up topics that are going to invite pain or conflict. Remember alcohol exacerbates every situation and often not in a good way.
Tip #10 – Call A Delay of Game – If conflict begins, give yourself five minutes to re-center. Don’t buy into the conflict.
Tip #11 – Saddle Up Your Parenting – if you have children don’t let the kids manipulate you or your spouse or partner.
Tip #12 – Check the Pressure Cooker – check-in with your spouse or partner to make sure the pressure of the holidays isn’t negatively affecting them. Do a status check for depression, loneliness, or despair. Offer help, love and support to offset these attributes.
Tip #13 – Embody Your Inner Jimmy Stewart – “It’s A Wonderful Life” – have an attitude of gratitude, ENJOY family and friends, practice random acts of kindness and remember to CELEBRATE the holiday season.
Jason Fierstein is owner and founder of Phoenix Men’s Counseling which focuses on men’s mental health and relationship and marriage issues. Phoenix Men’s Counseling is located at 668 N. 44th Street, Suite 300 in Phoenix. For more information, visit www.phoenixmenscounseling.com or call 602-309-0568.