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Fighting during the holidays — when it goes too far

On Behalf of | Dec 21, 2023 | Personal Injury |

If you were to participate in a survey regarding how you feel about the holidays, you might be among those who say they consider it a stressful time of year. You can have hopes to enjoy holiday festivities and getting together with friends and family. However, you wouldn’t be alone in your struggle if you were to say that the holidays sometimes bring out the worst in people, which can lead to fighting that goes too far and a personal injury to one or more people is the result. 

Perhaps you and your spouse or partner have been at a holiday party where someone made a profane or inappropriate comment to your loved one. You felt compelled to say something to the person. Before you knew what was happening, a full-out confrontation ignited, and the altercation became physical. The next thing you knew, you were in the back of an ambulance with a black eye and other injuries.  

Helpful tips to prevent holiday fighting 

No one wants to experience a situation like the one described above. The best way to avoid such problems when you anticipate a confrontation is to set personal parameters to prevent holiday fighting. When you host or receive an invitation to your next social gathering, remember these tips:  

  • Set a time limit and stick to it, whether you’re hosting a party or attending one. The longer a gathering lasts, the greater the chance for conflict, especially if people are drinking alcohol. 
  • Construct a code word or phrase with someone you trust. Use it as a signal that a conversation or situation is getting out of hand and you need help getting away from someone. 
  • Use words of deflection to diffuse rising tempers, such as politely suggesting changing the subject if differences in opinion are sparking a dispute. 
  • Don’t allow others to drag you into uncomfortable situations. You can excuse yourself and walk away or decline to answer certain questions.  

Try to remember why you hosted a party or accepted an invitation, and keep the mood positive. If you feel like a situation is escalating into a holiday fight, it might be time to end the party or go home.  

Just a holiday fight? Or was it an assault? 

No matter how polite and respectful you are, you have no control over other people’s behavior.  It’s not always possible to diffuse a holiday fight, especially if someone comes at you suddenly or is drunk and out of control. If you suffer injury because another person strikes you, throws something at you or otherwise places you in harm’s way, you are entitled to seek restitution for damages 

If you must leave a holiday party to seek medical treatment due to an injury that an out-of-control guest caused, you should not be responsible for medical bills or other expenses associated with the incident. 


Law Offices of Joseph J. Tock