My inspiration in such settings is the Dalai Lama, or people who maintain their Zen-like composure, even under a barrage of thinly veiled insults. When asked what their secret was, they say, “I just don’t let these people bother me. Usually, when people feel the need to find fault in others or the way they live their life, it’s because it makes them feel better about their own discontent.” Queen of Queendom.com did a survey; and analyzing data from 4,092 people who took the Emotional Intelligence Test, she compared two distinct groups: Those who are happy with the relationships in their lives and those who are not. Five key traits stood out for her:
(Note: Scores range on a scale from 0 to 100)
- Score for people who are content with their relationships: 72
- Score for people who are discontent: 47
Content people go into every situation with a hopeful and optimistic outlook. Even when times are challenging, they strive to look for the silver lining, and see every unpleasant encounter/ challenge/ hardship as an opportunity to learn and grow. They try to find the best in others, even if they don’t entirely see eye-to-eye with a person.
How it can help during the holidays: you too can see such encounters as an opportunity to make changes for the better, mend bridges, and start again.
- Score for people who are content with their relationships: 72
- Score for people who are discontent: 50
Content people recognize their own value, and go into relationships believing that they deserve just as much love and respect as the other person. High self-esteem acts like a protective barrier, where no insult, disparaging remark or failure can penetrate and damage the bearer’s sense of self-worth. People with high self-esteem accept themselves, quirks and all, because they know they are special. People with low self-esteem, on the other hand, are more likely to put down others in order to boost their own fragile sense of self.
How it can help during the holidays: Whether it’s disparaging looks or talk about your looks, or lifestyle or neglected home, you need not allow other people’s opinion shape your own. thats their opinion (even unsolicited opinion). Its worthwhile to look at them as a medium to find the message: Behind every insult is the desire to offer advice, even if poorly worded.
- Score for people who are content with their relationships: 77
- Score for people who are discontent: 58
Content people have developed a strength of character that allows them to see and approach hardship in a unique way. They interpret obstacles, failures, and difficulties as a test of skill rather than as an impassable roadblock. Even if faced with a circumstance that they will have to deal with for the rest of their life (e.g. illness, loss), they use adversity to make them stronger. This inner strength allows them to empathize with the hardships of others, and potentially guide those who are also struggling.
How it can help during the holidays: As you ponder the year that has passed, don’t view your failures as endings, but rather, as an opportunity to do things better in the time to come. The most impactful lessons are those that are learned the hard way.
- Score for people who are content with their relationships: 70
- Score for people who are discontent: 53
Content people make it a point to tune into their emotions. Rather than just scratching the surface, they strive to understand why a situation or person causes them to react in a certain way. They understand that feelings are more than just a response: They offer a message that allows them to better understand their wants and desires, and the motive behind their actions.
How it can help during the holidays: Your feelings are your responsibility and are under your control. A person cannot make you angry…you allow yourself to react this way. If someone says something to upset you, take a step back and try to gain perspective of the situation. Why have this person’s words affected you so much? Perhaps they bother you because they are touching on a truth you are not ready to admit to yourself, or they remind you of a difficult time. Understanding where your reaction comes from is the first step toward better self-awareness.
- Score for people who are content with their relationships: 74
- Score for people who are discontent: 64
Content people do not see the world in black and white. There is room for diverse opinions and different interpretations of facts or truths. While they may not agree with other people’s perspectives, content people recognize that everyone has a right to their opinion. They are open to different ideas and views, if only to gain a broader understanding of an issue.
How it can help during the holidays: Before judging a person’s opinion or choice as right or wrong, take a step back to consider the situation from their perspective. Try to understand what would motivate a person to choose a certain path. What a person values, desires, and fears can play a role in the decisions they make and actions they take.
So while the holidays are generally a joyful time, they can also turn into a free-for-all where people hash out their differences or say things they wouldn’t normally say any other time of the year – which can put a real damper on holiday dinners. However, rather than worrying about other people’s conduct, focus on monitoring your own. As a wise friend once put it, what’s important is to focus on yourself:
It is a matter of recognizing that, regardless of what the other individuals’ perceptions are, it does not discount you or invalidate you, and therefore, it is not necessary to be threatened by the other individuals’ perceptions. And it is also not necessary to change the other individuals’ perceptions.
When you can move in a direction of genuinely being comfortable and satisfied and acknowledging of yourself, you can also begin to move in the direction of acknowledging and accepting differences in other individuals and not being threatened by that, and recognizing that their perception is equally as valid as yours.
Here are some tips:
Thats the way to go forward. Which of these tasks will take you to your goals? Which of these actions will take you a few steps closer towards the person you dream to be?
I will end with what Einstein said:
Over to you…do let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org