The holiday season is here! Which means, most people can expect to be around family members. It can be a wonderful experience sharing holiday memories with loved ones. However, some people dread the holidays because of unwanted questions and comments regarding life choices.
It’s best to be prepared if you might find yourself in this situation this holiday season. Below, we provided some tools for dealing with your family. We get it, they can be great, but sometimes too nosy. Have you ever been in this situation? Tell us about it in the comments.
1. Be Prepared
Before attending any holiday events, be prepared for the types of questions and comments that you may get. Take a deep breath (or have a drink!) and remember to stay calm during the exchange. If you expect it, then it’s easier to prepare for. Being caught off guard is the worst situation.
2. Deflect Awkward Questions
One way to get out of answering something without making the exchange awkward is to deflect. Change the subject right away. Tell your cousin that you love her new sweater, compliment the host or hostess for a great meal or suggest a game/activity to play.
3. Find Allies
Hopefully you’re not the only one in the family who wants to avoid any awkwardness. If you have siblings, cousins or even friends who are expected to get annoying questions as well, stick together. Form an alliance and help each other.
4. Avoid Awkward Conversations
By this we mean don’t be the one to start any type of controversial discussion. Anything about religion, politics or life choices tends to bring out the craziness in families. Stick to happy and amicable subjects if you know anything with more substance could turn into a verbal brawl.
5. Be Honest
If you do hear unwanted questions and comments, one way to handle it is to be honest. For example, in A Thankless Thanksgiving, Johan got an unwanted question about his relationship status. Just tell the truth and say you’re single and don’t want to talk about why you’re not dating. This works for most questions and comments, just give an honest answer and ask the family member to drop it.
6. Set Boundaries
Boundaries with family members need to bet set. Make it clear that certain topics are off limits and their opinions on your life choices are unwanted. The fact is that your family doesn’t need to know every detail of your life. Setting boundaries earlier in life makes these encounters better.
7. Plan for Alone Time
If you’re planning on being around family for more than just a day, make sure to plan for alone time. Whether you excuse yourself to take a nap or just go for a walk, just find some time to collect your thoughts. Everyone needs space during the holiday season, even extroverts. Family time can be overwhelming.