How not to be a Cranky, Significant, A-hole during the holidays

Another PayPal Connect post for the Holidays. Enjoy!

How I plan on not being a significant, cranky A-hole over the Holidays 

I’ve really been on it the last week or so as I butt up against the solidity of our company’s values:

Do What You Say, Say What You Do—On Time

Shine a Light

Be Generous

They are really grounding, so when I’m not aligned with them, it’s pretty black and white: there’s no room for separation between our company values and my personal values.

And there’s precious little wiggle room around our values. Either I live them, or I’m out of integrity and there are any number of people and situations that will hold it up very close to my face so I can see it better.

I’m not happy with myself when I’m not aligning with one of my values, and it’s much easier to point the finger at my partners, loved ones, customers, etc. than to right the wrong right over here. I’ve been a cranky, significant A-hole. I’m sorry!

The Missus and I had a breakthrough conversation where we did a mash-up of our favorite teachings into one foolproof tool for deflating conflict.

“A correct Wing Chun stance is like a piece of bamboo, firm but flexible, rooted but yielding. This structure is used to either deflect external forces or redirect them.”


The tool goes like this:


  • Deflect

  • Redirect

  • Peace Offering

  • I Love You

When somebody is really on a tear, venting their frustration, or just being angry with you,


by physically shifting your body position away from them at a 45 degree angle. If they’re on the phone, put it on speaker, put the phone down, and shift your body position.

Time their outburst/monologue/rant for 45 seconds to one minute, either with a timer or by counting (one Mississippi, two Mississippi…).


by saying:

“Thank you for sharing. I got that.”

If they need to vent some more, repeat the process once, but usually, they’ll run out of steam.

PEACE OFFERING in the form of:

“I’m sorry. What can I do to make it better?”

Usually, there’s nothing to be done, but you gave them the gift of generous listening and taking responsibility. If there’s something to be cleaned up, they’ll let you know. Either way, you’ve disarmed the anger and the threat and created an opening (or an exit).

I LOVE YOU,as a way of closing, either with new understanding, or making your hasty retreat.

What’s really landed for me is that we’re all two year olds when we’re upset. We’re irrational, cranky, self-absorbed and injured. We need to vent, blow off steam, have the wrong righted and be given a huggie. Or maybe that’s just me.

Anyway, Happy Holidays, keep the peace, be safe and…I Love You!

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