How the Holidays Should Be - Part Two
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Leaders don’t always recognize that they are not going to holiday functions to enjoy themselves. They show up and “work the room. They plan, organize and strategize how everything will be done and expect everyone to do it. It is easy to see why they feel so misunderstood when people get angry with them for being so controlling. Leaders just don’t understand where others are coming from and usually respond to emotions by denying that there is truth to what others are saying.
The striving to be in control extends to the Leaders needing to control their emotions and those of everyone else. The holidays are full of excitement, disappointments, surprises, conflict, laughter and tears. Leaders lose out when they try so hard to keep everything under control that the emotions they feel most are anxiety, impatience and frustration because they actually can’t keep everything under control.
For Leaders like Jerry to really enjoy the holidays, they need to develop the capacity to listen to what other people would like to do. It is often difficult for them to acknowledge that not everyone is like them. Others actually don’t want to go to every party they are invited to, nor do they feel compelled to follow the family or religious traditions of the season. Others can help by not being afraid to challenge the Leader, advocating for what they need, calmly and rationally. Then not letting the Leader try to overpower or guilt them into doing what they want.
Learning to approach the season using mindfulness – the ability to focus in the present moment; non-judgmentally; with acceptance of what is can be a lifesaver for Leaders. Using mindfulness tools, Leaders learn what they actually want to do, rather than taking on the job of organizing a successful holiday project plan, budget included. Letting go of their predominant striving to be in control allows them to meet their other needs: for companionship, love and appreciation for what others bring to the season as well.