The Holidays can be one of the most extreme survival situations you will ever been in. It’s a minefield of potential hazards. However, employing special tactical techniques, good sense, and diplomacy can get you out a live!
Surviving Shopping Excursions
Stay aware: Situational awareness is crucial in everyday life, but it is even more so during the holiday shopping season. Thieves often prey upon unaware individuals loaded with cash, credit cards, and arms full of band new merchandise intended as gifts. Keep your head on a swivel, the cell phone out of your ear, and trust your gut – as detailed in The Gift of Fear.
Shop in Pairs: Every year there a scores mothers and fathers that take the kids shopping by themselves.
Know the Exits: Make a mental note of exits you see when visiting a mall. A mace filled riot could break out and knowing where the exits are could get you out of harms way. If you are not near a marked exit and need to make an escape from a potentially dangerous situation, head to the back of a store. All shopping mall stores have an exit in the back that leads to a service corridor.
Budget: The holidays can become a stressful time for people as they feel the need to over extend themselves financially. Money doesn’t buy love; it buys temporary affection. Make a budget and stay within that budget. Otherwise, you are likely to be giving your loved ones an over priced gift they really didn’t need, and a good dose of resentment.
Don’t Drink With a Loaded Weapon: Abstaining from alcohol during family functions may be the best decision you made all season. A common effect of alcohol is a loss impulse control and inhibition. This can easily lead to things coming out of your mouth you will regret later. If you do decide to drink though, do so in moderation.
Beware of Strangers: Take the time to get to know your family members all over again. What new hobbies have they picked up? It’s also an exercise in letting the past go. So often a simple argument becomes more heated than it should because we have a twenty-year-old axe to grind we never fully buried.
Practice Diplomacy: I first came to be aware of a term called Associative Regression from an episode of How I Met Your Mother. It simply means that we regress to a previous state of maturity around people from our past. With siblings and cousins we can quickly revert back to being ten years old again and get into an argument about something stupid. Remember that you are now adults and choose to let things go.
Most of all, remember what the season is really all about and try to enjoy it.
What techniques have you developed for surviving the holidays?