Life Coach: How to sail through the summer holidays

Claire Dunworth-Warby, a personal, business and education coach with Aspire Associates Coaching, offers some strategies on avoiding those squabbles that can occur when everyone is thrown together for extended periods.

shutterstock_91896491Summer is upon us again – another special time of the year, like the Christmas season, when there are high expectations of having a fun-filled time surrounded by one’s loved ones. The sun will be constantly shining, the days will be activity-orientated and every one will be having the time of their lives all together.

This is what the glossy ads would have us believe and it can put us under tremendous pressure – thinking every one else is experiencing such constant, unalloyed joy while we are the only ones that feel cooped up and at the mercy of other people’s needs and desires. Small wonder we often end up squabbling with each other.

Problems such as feeling on top of each other, leading to quarrelling amongst ourselves, are often down to how we communicate with each other – or don’t, in a lot of cases.

To avoid the common pitfalls in communicating, whatever the scenario, it’s worth spending a little time thinking about the way you phrase the ideas you want to communicate to some one else.

Communicate in a positive way

When we want to pass on a message that is critical (no matter to whom, whether it is a child or an adult), if we make it negative, then it is often taken as a put-down and is not at all well received – understandably!

And, if it is an often-repeated comment, it will remain unheard by the other person – they switched off long ago (which will irritate us even more).

On the other hand, if we say it in positive terms, we are allowing the other person to change their behaviour.

‘You never….’ could become something like, ‘In future, it would be really great if you could….’

Reveal your true thoughts

Sometimes we pass on messages that hide our true feelings about the matter in hand – perhaps we fear the consequences if we reveal our true thoughts about it.

However, there can be negative side effects if we keep suppressing what we really think. It can lead to a build-up of pressure, resentment or anger inside.

It’s worth remembering that you can put across your own feelings if you disagree in a non- threatening way, which is better for all concerned in the long run.

“No, I don’t mind at all. That’s fine…” could become something like, “Thanks for asking. I’m fine with … but I am a bit concerned about…”

With lots of practice, you can perfect these two skills and enjoy better communication with all those around you.

Happy holidays!

Claire works with individuals and organisations one-to-one, over the phone or online and leads workshops across the UK. She also runs ‘Training the Trainers’ sessions.

For more information or a free taster session contact Claire on 01746 218298 or visit


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