How to Get Through the Holiday Season without a Bust-up with the Family

So, the holiday season is here and whether you are a big Christmas celebrator or a low key kinda gal, X-mas means family time. 

I suppose what I should say is, 'hey, it's the season to be jolly" so let's be grateful for family. But in all honesty, love them or loathe them, there are always some more... let's say...challenging members of the clan. This can make it hard to navigate the holiday season without getting into a bust-up, or at the very least spoiling your mood.

So here are a few tips on how to navigate family conversations over the holidays season to avoid any fights. Brace yourself, I didn't say it was going to be easy. 

1. Inappropriate Uncle

In my experience, it's always uncles who say the most inappropriate things and it seems to only get worse with age. It's quite worrying because younger guys don't seem to be quite as odd, so you have to wonder if men hit 40 and just become publically awkward.

The best thing to do is to glaze over the situation. Move the conversation on, change the topic, find a distraction. Comment on the food, the decor or strike up a conversation about almost anything else with another family member. Everyone will thank you for it. 

2. Judgemental Aunt

Some people are just more judgemental than others. It stems from their belief that their way is the only way. 

The best thing to do is to limit the information you share with the 'judgemental aunt'. This is the best course of action if you would rather avoid their unwelcome judgement. If you are directly asked about something you would rather not share, it's a good idea to make light of it, give vague answers where necessary and avoid the subject where possible. For example, you can use phrases like "I'm not thinking about it right now". It's always a good idea to then move the conversation back onto them. 

Ask questions and be a good listener when you don't want to talk!

3. Better-than-you-cousin

No one likes a show-off or someone who talks down to them. Part of not getting your feathers ruffled by this one is to be sure of yourself and know that anyone who has to do such things, has bigger problems than you. 

Easier said than done. I agree. 

A practical way of dealing with this is cutting off their oxygen. Not literally, but figuratively. People who love to show-off need an audience to do it. Not entertaining their conversation is the best way to go. This means you need to switch the conversation or simply excuse yourself. After all, someone always needs help in the kitchen.  

4. Nosey Gran

Fishers, fishers, fishers. To be honest, granny's are usually lovely. It's a universal thing but whoever the nosey so and so is at the party the policy is the same. Don't crack under pressure and spill the beans. Stand your ground. Where you don't want to share something about yourself, even if the question is asked 100 times in different ways, don't give a definitive answer.

Similar to judgemental aunt protocol, it's best to give vague answers that make light of the situation. Where you need to share some information about yourself, never offer extra details about anything. Trim all the fat. 

Most of all, it's important to watch out for these characters. Our family rarely has bad intentions, but sometimes they have some awkward traits. Recognising them and watching out for pitfalls is the key to avoiding any bust-ups. If you do that, you will actually have a better relationship with your family.

I hope you have a happy and peaceful holiday season. 

ho ho ho

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