Whether you see your relatives on a regular basis or you only visit your family once or twice a year, you’ll most likely spend some time with them during the holidays. Although you may feel overjoyed to see certain family members, you may be dreading spending time with certain relatives. Most families have at least one annoying relative, so how can you enjoy the holidays despite their presence?
Mentally Prepare Yourself
Before a family gathering, spend some time alone, reflecting on your situation. Oftentimes, annoying people don’t even know how irritating their behavior is. Remind yourself to not take it personally when such family members ask you evasive questions about your personal life.
Also keep in mind that you don’t want to be that annoying family member, either. Avoid discussing anything regarding religion, politics and sex. Also, avoid asking any of the following questions:
• Why are you still single?
• When will you get a real job?
• When will you two start having babies?
• Are you pregnant?
• Why isn’t your girlfriend here?
Watch Your Alcohol Consumption
It’s tempting to have a drink or two to take the edge off family gatherings, but don’t get carried away. If you have too much to drink, you could end up spilling the beans about how you really feel about your uncle’s offensive political views or your sister’s loser boyfriend. Keep your limit to a couple of drinks to avoid ruining Christmas and having to call everyone and apologize the next day.
Make a Joke
If someone asks you an offensive question (and you know they will), try answering it with a joke. For instance, if your thrice-divorced uncle asks you why you’re still single, you could answer by asking him the same question. If that answer is too aggressive for your tastes, you could simply explain to him that you’ve been watching a lot of Forensic Files, and the spouse is always the killer. Therefore, you are prolonging your life by staying single. He won’t ask any more questions.
Despite the presence of an irritating family member or two, there’s so much for you to be grateful for. Maybe you’re grateful to spend time with your mom, or you could be excited to sit down to such a delicious dinner.
Sometimes, no matter how much you’ve mentally prepared yourself, you still may feel rattled by overbearing family members. If you need to, step outside to take a breather. If it’s too cold to spend some quiet time outside, step into another room, even if that means you are hanging out in the bathroom for a few minutes.
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