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"Top 10 Things That Cause Conflict During The Holidays"
Barbara Pachter - Business Etiquette Expert Barbara Pachter - Business Etiquette Expert
Cherry Hill , NJ
Wednesday, November 30, 2005


856) 751-6141 (NJ)

Top 10 Things That Cause Conflict During The Holidays

According to Cherry Hill, NJ based communications expert Barbara Pachter, author of ?The Power of Positive Confrontation? ($14.95 paperback, Marlowe & Co.), the holidays, for many people, are stressful and generate a lot of conflict. According to Pachter, here are the top 10 things that drive people crazy during the holidays:

1. HOLIDAY MEAL MOOCHERS. One of the biggest complaints involves family members who don?t do their fair share. They don?t offer to host the meal, they don?t offer to help clean up, they don?t bring anything to the meal. Do your fair share.

2. NOT SHARING FAMILY TIME. With divorce, remarriage, and families scattered across the country, sharing holidays with family members can be a difficult juggling act. If possible, be inclusive of others. If that is not possible, devise a fair rotation and keep to it. Divorced parents often fight over who is going to spend time with the kids and when. Don?t put the children in the middle. Again, try to be inclusive of others. If not, keep to your custody agreement.

3. DRINKING TOO MUCH ALCOHOL. A lot of liquor can be served during the holidays and people can drink too much and then say and do things that cause problems for themselves and others. Limit your alcohol intake and your holiday celebrating won?t be a problem.

4. IGNORING RSVPS. Failing to respond to RSVPs and then showing up or saying that you will attend and then not showing up causes problems for the host. This is very rude and people do it all the time. Always RSVP and if something comes up at the last minute telephone the host and explain.

5. GIFT GIVING GUFFAWS. Gifts are supposed to make people feel good, but unfortunately gift giving can cause a lot of problems. People who give inappropriate gifts to others, such as items that are too personal for co-workers, cause conflict at work. People who say, ?Let?s not exchange gifts,? and then show up with a gift, embarrass others. People who have different expectations of the appropriate amount to spend for a gift cause conflict between themselves. You would be amazed at how many people recycle gifts. One woman said that she was really pleased that the decorator for her office gave her a beautiful holiday plant --until she found a note under one of the leaves that indicated the plant had originally been given to the decorator!

6. NOT SAYING THANK YOU. People who receive gifts and don?t say ?thank you? or send thank you notes are being rude. Teach your children to say, ?thank you,? and to write thank you notes also.

7. HOLIDAY SLACKERS. Co-workers who take 3-hour lunches to finish holiday shopping or who call in sick to avoid working the holiday only make the holidays more stressful for their co-workers. Again, do your fair share and you will avoid creating conflict and stress for others.

8. SCROOGES. Don?t be the person who refuses to celebrate or get into the holiday spirit. People who complain about the holidays cause everyone around them stress. Attend your neighbor?s or department?s party. Participate in group gifts. Wish people happy holidays. Send holiday cards.

9. RUDE SHOPPERS. People have a lot of shopping to do during the holidays. Often they are rushed, surrounded by crowds and tempers can flare. Sales people who ignore customers or have a bad attitude drive people crazy. But impatient shoppers who take their frustrations out on sales people and other shoppers cause problems too. Before you ?lose it? at the perfume counter, stop and ask yourself, ?Is this really worth getting upset about?? or ?Does this person really mean to be a jerk or is he just really stressed out too??

10. FORGETTING WHAT REALLY MATTERS. With television commercials promoting products and stores putting out holiday items before Halloween, it?s easy to think that the holidays are all about material things. Forgetting the true meaning of the holidays ends up making people depressed, stressed out and unhappy. People who focus on giving to others, being with family, and doing nice things for other people are the people who enjoy the holidays with the least amount of conflict.


Barbara Pachter is the author of ?When the Little Things Count?And They Always Count? ($13.95 paperback, Marlowe & Co.) and the co-author of the ?Prentice Hall Complete Business Etiquette Handbook.? She is a speaker, trainer and coach specializing in business communications, business etiquette, and assertiveness issues. Her client list features major corporations and organizations worldwide, including NASA, DaimlerChrysler, Pfizer, Ernst & Young and the University of Michigan.

For a review copy of ?When the Little Things Count? or ?The Power of Positive Confrontation,? contact Blanca Olivery: 646-375-1065, or Email: publicity@avalonpub.com

For a free subscription to Pachter's newsletter, ?Competitive Edge,? your readers can simply call (856) 751-6141 (NJ) or go to www.pachter.com. Published three times a year, it contains tips and strategies for business professionals.
Barbara Pachter
Pachter and Associates
Cherry Hill, NJ
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