How to be assertive with friends on holiday

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How to be assertive with friends on holiday can be very tricky.
Does the following happen to you?
You get on really well with your friends, there’s always lots of laughter and fun when you meet up socially, but on holiday the relationship can become strained after a few days
Different people have different priorities, interests and expectations about the holiday and who should do what, if anything! Here are some steps for you to follow to ensure you have a stress free harmonious holiday and return home with relationships in tact.

Step One Adopt an assertive mindset

These are my friends after all – I should be able to discuss our different expectations

We don’t all have to do the same things at the same time
I don’t have to agree with everything, I  can state my preferences

I don’t have to get upset by the small things, I can put them into perspective

Step Two – Give yourself permission to act assertively
I have the right to expect that we all take equal responsibility for the success of the holiday
I have the right to see where others stand on certain issues
I have the right not to feel I’m being taken advantage of
I have the right to enjoy doing the things I want to do

Step Three – Consider some win:win outcomes
We can be honest with each other: relationships are strengthened not diminished
The air is cleared, hidden agendas are out in the open: we trust one another more and feel more at ease
We can say what we need to say without feeling guilty: we learn more about one another’s preferences
Expectations are largely meet: we all have the rest and fun we had hoped for

Step Four – Prior to going discuss expectations

Sitting down with friends in a relaxed social setting and openly discussing expectations and boundaries will go a long way to ensuring a happier more stress free holiday. Include in your discussion all or some of the following:
Your budget – what you intend to spend whilst away
Eating in or out – sharing of the cooking & shopping
Children – bed times & activities
Relaxing or active holiday or both – planning places to visit in advance
Time and commitment – together all the time and having your own space
Housekeeping – sharing the chores

Work out what you do and don’t want to do and be open about it. It will encourage others to be the same. Be prepared to say ‘no’ to things that you are sure you don’t want to do.
Most importantly know what you can control and what you can’t i.e.
You are responsible for your own behaviour, feelings and emotions. You cannot control other peoples’ attitudes and expectations. Instead of stressing over things – let go of those things you can’t control.

Step Five – If tension does occur whilst your away.

Choose a time to discuss things when people seem relaxed and distanced from any specific event that may cause tension.

‘I’m feeling unhappy about some of the things that are going un-said on this holiday, so can we sit down and have a chat?’

‘I appreciate that we’ve all come away to enjoy ourselves and leave work behind. Do you agree that over the last couple of days there has been some tension building amongst us?’

‘We’re friends and I’d like to think we can talk about things openly. So I’d like to ease that tension, discuss any issues, clear the air. How do the rest of you feel about that?’

‘So let’s list the subjects we want to agree on and share our views as to how we might do this.
These are mine –
Cooking and washing up, paying for things when we’re out together and planning collective trips & activities.
What do you want to add?’

‘Ok, anything else to add to the list before we make a start in resolving these issues?’

‘OK, lets now look to resolve each one at a time’
Shall we start with the money?’

‘When we’ve been out there’s been a general reluctance to buy the first drinks, so we have. It’s beginning to grate on us that nobody else is taking the lead.’

‘With regards to money how about we make one person Banker in charge of all expenditure and give them permission to ask each of us for the same amount when the Kitty runs short?’

You then begin to discuss the other matters in a spirit of mutual sharing while you demonstrate How to be assertive with friends on holiday.

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