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Emotional Intelligence Tips to Make Thanksgiving Enjoyable

Thanksgiving elicits different memories and emotions for all of us. Some may rejoice as they consider it a time to eat all day, watch football, watch parades, and spend time with close family members. Others may dread the day and time of the year because of a loss or because spending time in conversations with family and friends you don't see often can be stressful. 


Use the following Emotional Intelligence Tips for Thanksgiving to navigate conversations and enjoy the moments! 


Rule #1 – Focus on the Positive and the Good Times

As you think about the Thanksgiving meal with your family later this week, dwell on the good times you have had together. Think about the times they came to your rescue and helped you. Think about the times you laughed together.


If the conversation starts to go awry on Thanksgiving, think about all the good times you have had together. Bring the conversation back to the good times. 


Rule #2 –  Goal Orientation – Keep Your Eye on the Goal

When you are in a conversation, remember you do not have to be right or convince someone to change their mind.


Enjoy the conversation, the people, and the moment. Be gracious. You do not have to prove a point or win a debate. 

Remember your primary goal at all times. The Goal: Enjoy the people, the food,  and the time together. You are not there to prove a point or win a debate.


Rule #3 – Pause BEFORE You Speak – Pause as long as you need to

You hear something you disagree with, or someone says something hurtful. PAUSE. You don't have to defend yourself with words or rush into an argument. Just Pause. 


Silence speaks volumes. 


Silence takes self-control and strength.   Anyone can rush to speak, yell, or say something they regret later. Only a person with self-control and strength can be silent.


One tip is to count to five before you respond. Doing this as you speak regularly helps you grow and maintain restraint.


And, since you are not speaking, maybe you will be able to learn from the person who is speaking at the time. 


Rule #4 – Become the Gray Rock

You have the power to end the argument by simply not responding.    Do not engage, and you will win the battle.


Be the gray rock in their world.   It will not only shut down the argument at hand. They will see you as a gray rock in the future and not even try to argue with you.


Rule #5 – Go for a walk

Do not misuse this rule by storming out of the house during a conversation. Instead, after you have paused, let people know you are going for a walk.  


Do not triangulate by asking others to join you on the walk to vent about a particular person or situation.


Simply walk. Walking in the cool November air is good for your body and mind. You can also use the time to refocus on positive thoughts and memories.


Rule #6 – The Gold Rule and Forgive Yourself and Others

Treat others the way you want them to treat you. 


These people sitting around the table are your people. Some may have known you your entire life. They have been there for you. They have loved you, cried, and laughed with you. They are your people.


So forgive them. Forgive yourself. Move forward.


Happy Thanksgiving Everyone! Enjoy the meal. Enjoy the people. Enjoy the time. 


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