It’s Time to Make Peace Both Personally and Professionally

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As we approach the holidays and the end of the year, it may be a good time to reflect on interpersonal relationships both personally and professionally.

The holiday season is upon us. Don’t you think it is time to resolve issues that have been causing anger, grief, and stress over time? Hear me out, and yes, this has everything to do with dental practices.

Thanksgiving was not necessarily an enjoyable time for everyone. Many families have fractured for a multitude of reasons, like old disagreements. Are you mad at your brother? Feel inferior when you spend time with your parents? Jealous of your sibling’s accomplishments, money, prestige, or power? Now, you get to see them over the holidays and deal with tension in the air. Is it real or imagined?

You avoid all this negativity by skipping family get-togethers. “Out of sight out of mind” might be your thinking process, but you want your kids to hang out with their cousins or at least have a relationship with their grandparents. Or do you? Not all families are the picture-perfect image like the television show Black-ish, where this extended family, who may have their issues, are always behind each other in the end. Many families have challenges such as death, incarceration, mental health issues, substance abuse, or unresolved pent-up anger that has percolated and built up over the years.

I am not going to tell you to play nice and work things out as that is condescending. You know your situation best. Some families find staying away is the best thing they can do. I get it. Bridges have been burned. I am referring to situations where things can be salvaged. What do you want from your family? Do you want one that is close and has your back unconditionally? My first question is “What happened?” If there are grudges from the past, what are they? I ask this question so many times and tend to get the same response. “I don’t remember.” These are the families for which I am hopeful. How bad could the infraction have been if you do not remember it?


Reevaluate your feelings about family members. If you want to have a healthier family situation, what can you do about it? Ego is a tough thing to put aside, but what if you started taking steps to reconnect with your family? What is the best thing that could happen? What is the worst? The real question is what is stopping you?

What does this have to do with a dental practice? Everything. So often, the family life we have falls into our work life. If I get upset at work but sit on my feelings, they fester and grow. Resentment builds unless it is addressed and defused. Just like your holiday get-together, letting conflict with a co-worker go unchecked can impair your confidence, inhibitions, and peace of mind. Your colleagues and boss are your family since you are with them more awake hours a day than you are with your own family.

Some of you may say, “Yep, she is at it again about communication,” but it is a mantra I use in every aspect of my life. How we communicate at work, home, school, or religious institutions matters. Grudges will impact your life negatively if you do not address and make peace.

In the workplace, it can fester into a hostile workplace incredibly fast. My question is, what are you going to do about it? My challenge to you is to look at your relationships at home and work and make them better. Some things will not get better for a variety of reasons. But I believe that all our lives would inherently be happier with less stress if we can fix some of these challenges by burying the hatchet. Consider it. Let me know if you agree or disagree with me.