Peace or Piece?

piece or peaceThis holiday, rather than choose to give someone a piece of your mind at your Thanksgiving table, why not opt for peace instead?

For example, a client shared that her father-in-law can make rude and caustic remarks when he visits. One year at dinner he turned to his wife and said, “Hey, old lady, get this recipe. I like it.” Another time, he called my client’s youngest a “whiner” when the child simply asked for more juice. Did she want to give him a piece of her mind and say, “That is rude and unacceptable at my table”? You bet. And, as I advised her, if this is consistent behavior, an off-line conversation needs to take place. However, in that moment, it might be best to choose peace. If you find yourself in a similar situation, depending on the remark, try humor. For example, when her father-in-law makes the “old lady” comment, she could say to her mother-in-law, “Gee, who is this old lady he’s talking about? Can’t be you, but I hope she’s a good cook!” In the case of the “whiner” remark, she could look at her son and say, “I’m glad you used your big-boy voice to ask for more juice.”

I know moments like these can put a damper on the day, but we can choose otherwise. If you’re dealing with someone like my client’s father-in-law, consider that like all of us, he simply wants to be loved and appreciated. Try asking him about a favorite childhood memory and truly listening as you enjoy your peace and a piece of pumpkin pie!


Step into the Truth Booth, improve your life, and laugh along the way with funny motivational speaker Colette Carlson. How did she go from emotional coward and the Pizza Delivery’s favorite customer to #1 sales producer for sales legend Tom Hopkins and Brian Tracy, featured in Success Magazine, a 50 lb. weight loss, and inspiring audiences at Microsoft, Accenture, Pepsi, Boeing, and organizations worldwide? Visit her at or call 760-230-1212.

Colette founded Speak Your Truth, Inc. to share her success systems and inspire others to Think It! Speak It! Live It! Her tools and takeaways create authentic, long-lasting change in every aspect of your life. With a MA in human behavior, a successful business and 2 teenage daughters, Colette provides a unique combination of education, research, real-life experience, and heartfelt humor to motivate you with her high content programs. Improve your Communication Skills, Work-Life Balance, Sales, Leadership, Assertiveness, Negotiation…all wrapped in the genuine power of Speaking Your Truth.

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  1. Fabulous advice, Colette! I am soooo fortunate that I don't live in a family that has these dynamics. That is, I don't NOW live in a family with these dynamics. I surely used to, and it was miserable for everyone. Wish I'd had your advice then!  Thanks for this!

  2. Great distinction to make between a family member's constant bad behavior and the twice-a-year assault! Choosing peace is so much easier on everyone around the table.  I especially love your diffusing trick of asking about a favorite childhood memory!  I'll use that for sure, thanks!

  3. This is good advice, as always Colette.  I have a family member, who says everytime I learn something and say "I didn't know that!", says to me "There's a lot of things you don't know".  It's almost like an automatic response and after awhile, I simply called them out on it, saying it's pretty rude to continually point out that there are a lot of things I don't know.  I then infused some humor when I repeated oft quoted motivational sayings 'The more you read, the more you lead. The more you learn, the more you learn. The more you know, the more you grow.'  I think I was being a bit sarcastic at the point, but it was better than throwing a pillow at this person!!!

  4. You are so right. I am working on my habit of having an opinion about everything. It is too tiring. Time to break the tradition set by many women before me!

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